Coronavirus pandemic likely to reduce volume of peripheral vascular procedures

The market share for medical devices meant to treat peripheral vascular diseases, including devices such as PTA balloon catheters, stents, atherectomy devices and vascular grafts are expected to suffer due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. 

The global atherectomy devices market, worth approximately $760m in 2019, may suffer as many of these devices are used in non-emergency situations, such as for the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD). Peripheral atherectomy can treat PAD by breaking down and removing plaque through laser or mechanical cutting or shaving. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has recently developed guidelines for triage of vascular surgery patients, suggesting that non-emergency peripheral vascular procedures such as endovascular therapy for claudication should be postponed.

Azadeh Laffafian, PhD, Medical Devices Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “In regions severely affected by COVID-19, vascular procedures have been reduced to life or limb salvaging cases, due to new government directives or hospital guidelines. This measure is expected to keep hospital beds and healthcare providers available for COVID-19 patients, as well as to save personal protective equipment (PPE) and reduce viral transfer amongst patients and between patients and staff.”

The rescheduling of elective peripheral vascular procedures may result in a backlog of patients in the future. Medication and lifestyle changes can be recommended for these cases until further notice. Additionally, in countries such as the US, where private vascular surgery offices and clinics treat many vascular diseases, there is a risk that these clinics will be bankrupt due to a reduction in revenue, before the pandemic is over.

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