iData Research

Ethicon and Covidien Compete in Laparoscopic Procedure-Driven Wound Closure Market in Japan

The Japanese market for wound closure is experiencing rapid growth driven by endoscopic staplers; this market includes sutures, surgical staplers, ligation, skin closure strips and topical skin adhesives.


Burnaby, BC -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/18/2016 --According to a new series of reports on the Japanese wound tissue market by iData Research (, the surgical stapler market has experienced rapid growth driven by endoscopic staplers due to their high average selling prices (ASP) and the increasing popularity of laparoscopic procedures in Japan. As the population grows and ages, the number of surgical procedures is expected to increase.

Surgical staplers are segmented into open surgery staplers and endoscopic staplers. Open staplers are predominantly used in colorectal, gastrointestinal and thoracic surgeries, while bariatric and cholecystectomy procedures account for highest consumption of endoscopic cartridges. In a single laparoscopic bariatric surgery, six to eight cartridges are used. The number of bariatric surgeries is expected to rise in the coming years on back of the increasing percentage of obese population in Japan.

Within the endoscopic stapler market, there are basic traditional staplers as well as advanced endoscopic staplers. These will see marginal price increases which can be attributed to the presence of very few companies and to the product innovations that enhance the capability and ease of use. However, the open stapler market is gradually being flooded with more inexpensive products from Chinese companies, as a result, the ASPs of open stapling cartridges and handles will experience a steady decline over the forecast period.

"Traditionally, these surgical wounds were closed by sutures, which have a mature and stable market. However, laparoscopic procedures are gradually replacing more invasive and time-consuming open surgeries, resulting in smaller surgical wounds and thus having a limiting effect on the suture market," explains Dr. Kamran Zamanian, CEO of iData. "New wound closure technologies, particularly staplers, have provided alternatives for physicians and have taken market share from sutures in situations where they prove more efficient or cost-effective."

Sutures are classified under reimbursement group A1 within the Japanese reimbursement system. This means the reimbursement rate is included with the technical fee and no separate reimbursement is made for the sutures themselves. As a result, customers tend to be fairly price-sensitive when purchasing sutures.

Natural absorbable sutures are favorable for surgical closures because removal is not necessary and resorption time can be tailored for different applications. The sharp rise in lifestyle related diseases and chronic ailments resulting in higher number of surgical procedures is causing steady growth for the suture market. However, the high growth in unit sales is countered to some extent by a consistent decrease in ASPs, thus limiting the overall growth of the market.

This decrease in prices can be largely attributed to the saturated nature of the market, very little product differentiation among competitors and biennial price cuts from government authorities. But polypropylene and polyester sutures used in cardiovascular applications are premium products, which are sometimes priced four to five times more than absorbable sutures. As a result, the price pressure is expected to be lower for these categories of sutures. Additionally, sutures are used in more than just surgical procedures. They can also be used on an outpatient basis to close lacerations.

Ethicon is the market leader in the Japanese wound closure market, largely due to their strength in the sutures, staplers and ligation segments. Their most popular products on the market are the synthetic non-absorbable Prolene™, as well as the absorbable Monocryl™ and Vicryl™ sutures. Brand recognition and the ability to provide customers with a variety of wound closure products are key factors to Ethicon's success.

The second leading competitor in the wound closure market is Covidien, now part of Medtronic. It was a notably strong competitor in the stapler market. The strong growth in this market is driven by the popularity of Endo-GIA® staplers with Tri-Staple® technology. It competes with Ethicon's Echelon Endopath® line of endoscopic staplers. Other competitors in the wound closure market include Alfresa Pharma Corporation, B. Braun, 3M, BSN Medical, Reach Surgical, Purple Surgical, Panther Healthcare, Frankenmann, Microline Surgical, Teleflex Medical, Applied Medical, Haida Medical, David Medical, Kangji Medical Instruments, and Changzhou Lookmed.

For Further Information
More on the wound closure market in Japan can be found in a report suite published by iData Research entitled the Japanese Market Report Suite for Wound and Tissue Management. The suite covers reports on the following markets: Wound Closure Market, Advanced Dressings Market, Tissue Sealant Market, Hemostats Market, Anti-Adhesion Market, Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Market, Traditional Dressings Market.

The iData report series on wound tissue management market covers the United States, Brazil, China, India, Japan and 15 countries in Europe. Reports provide a comprehensive analysis including units sold, procedure numbers, market value, forecasts, as well as detailed competitive market shares and analysis of major players' success strategies in each market and segment.

To find out more about wound tissue management market data or procedure data, register online or email us at for a Japanese Market Report Suite for Wound and Tissue Management brochure and synopsis.

About iData Research
iData Research ( is an international market research and consulting group focused on providing market intelligence for medical device and pharmaceutical companies. iData covers research in: Operating Room Equipment, Surgical Microscopes, Robotics and Surgical Navigation, Laparoscopy, Urology, Gynecology, Vascular Access, Endoscopy, Interventional Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Cardiac Rhythm Management, Electrophysiology, Ultrasound, X-Ray Imaging, Diagnostic Imaging, Oncology, Spinal Implants and VCF, Spinal MIS, Orthopedic Soft Tissue Repair and Regeneration, Orthopedic Trauma, Large & Small Joints, Anesthesiology, Wound Management, Orthopedics, Ophthalmics, Dental Operatory Equipment and more.