This website is intended for healthcare professionals only.

Hospital Healthcare Europe
Hospital Pharmacy Europe     Newsletter    Login            

Survey highlights the value of advanced surgical energy devices in UK healthcare

Survey results (1) launched by Olympus Medical showed that nine out of ten (88%) surgeons surveyed believe advanced surgical energy devices such as THUNDERBEAT™ could revolutionise the way surgery is performed in the future, (1) resulting in cost savings for the NHS.

  •  72% of surgeons surveyed said that using the latest advanced surgical energy technologies is important during minimally invasive surgical procedures. (1)
  • 64% of surgeons surveyed said that these devices enable them to carry out complex procedures safely and with precision, while 59% indicated that operating time was reduced. (1)
  • 33% of surgeons said that advanced surgical energy devices improve the way surgical procedures are carried out providing a better overall outcome for patients. (1)

Further to the Department of Health’s settlement in the Government’s 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review, the NHS currently faces the toughest financial challenges in its history. Devices such as THUNDERBEAT™ can represent great value to the healthcare system by providing efficiencies in general surgery. This was realised in a recent survey with the following results: 55% of the surgeons surveyed specified a reduction in the number of instruments required and 50% said it reduced operating time.

The survey also indicated that surgeons feel that patients experience better results, with less postoperative pain and faster recovery times (21%), when these devices are used. A reduction in the size and number of incisions required (18%) and less patient postoperative pain (14%) are further benefits identified from the surgeons surveyed.

The survey results provide further validation, that this technology should be widely available as it offers many potential benefits for both surgeons and patients”, commented Gareth Walsh, Director of Medical Systems Division, Olympus Medical. “It’s evident that advanced surgical energy devices have improved the way that surgeries are carried out – of particular note is the speed, versatility and potential for fewer instruments, along with the ability to manage secondary bleeds and adverse events, reducing periods of hospitalisation for patients.

Article continues below this sponsored advert
Cogora InRead Image
Explore the latest advances in respiratory care at events delivered by renowned experts from CofE

Extensive studies have already found THUNDERBEAT™ to be a safe alternative for cutting, coagulation, and tissue dissection during surgery. THUNDERBEAT™ can be used in general, urologic, bariatric, gynaecologic, thoracic and reconstructive surgeries and is suitable for laparoscopic and open procedures. As well as decreasing time and increasing versatility during surgical procedures, studies have shown trends for faster procedure time, less blood loss and reduced postoperative pain. (2,3,4)

It is estimated that it can cost up to £400 per day for an average patient on an NHS surgical ward, indicating real financial benefits to reducing length of stay. (5) It has been projected that a reduction in length of stay of between 2 and 6 days per patient could save NHS trusts £15.5–46.5 million a year in total. (6)

At present, THUNDERBEAT™ is most widely used for minimal access surgery by bariatric (67%) and gynaecology (36%) surgeons. Of the surgeons that haven’t yet used the device, 85% said that they would consider doing so, rising to 100% for bariatric and upper GI surgeons. The findings highlight that surgeons recognise the value of new advanced surgical energy devices but also show that they are currently not widely used.

It is clear that advanced surgical energy devices have improved surgical outcomes. In addition, the use of advanced surgical devices may present an opportunity to reduce periods of hospitalisation for patients. At a time when the pressure to reduce NHS spending has never been so intense, devices such as THUNDERBEAT™ represent great value.


  1. Opinion Matters Advanced Surgical Energy Survey 2014: Data on file.
  2. Milsom J et al. Evaluation of the Safety, Efficacy, and Versatility of a New Surgical Energy Device (THUNDERBEAT ) in Comparison with Harmonic ACE, LigaSure V, and EnSeal Devices in a Porcine Model. Journal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical 2012;22:00.
  3. Tuynman JB et al. Clinical evaluation of safety and efficacy of a new laparoscopic energy device with combined ultrasonic and bipolar technology (THUNDERBEAT), Oxford University hospitals. Poster presentation at annual congress of ALSGBI, Cork, 2012.
  4. Lin HZ et al. Application of a New Integrated Bipolar and Ultrasonic Energy Device in Laparoscopic Hysterectomies 2013. ISRN Minimally Invasive Surgery 2013. Article ID 453581, 4 pages.
  5. Webber-Maybank M, Luton H. Making effective use of predicted discharge dates to reduce the length of stay in hospital. Nursing Times 2009;105:15.
  6. National Audit Office (2000). Hip Replacements: Getting It Right First Time. London: NAO. Accessed 17 June, 2014.