Report: Image-guided surgery market to double by 2011

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The U.S. image-guided surgery (IGS) systems market currently exceeds $150 million, and will approach $300 million by 2011, though if reimbursement and physician adoption were greater that growth would well exceed that, according to a new report from Millennium Research Group.

According to the study, as many as 70 percent of the one million American who undergo hip and knee implants each year have the potential to benefit from this technology which is less-invasive and requires less recovery time.

MRG likens the image-guided systems to something like "GPS for surgery," so that physicians are able to track instruments and implants in 3D computer model. The drawback is that fewer procedures are possible each day before of longer prep time, MRG said.

"Increased preparation time and the lack of reimbursement lowers the profitability of each procedure," said Chris Schutz, analyst at MRG. "Surgeons are reluctant to adopt the technology under these circumstances. As a result, patients are missing out on an important tool that promises improved outcomes and reduced recovery times."