Global demand for refractive surgery (laser refractive surgery, custom diagnostics and analysis, presbyopia-correcting surgery, refractive lens exchange, and phakic IOL implantation) is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 5.2 percent from 2017 to 2022, with annual procedure volume increasing from 3.6 million to 4.6 million, according to Market Scope.
Demand for refractive surgery will continue to see growth in several major markets during 2017, including the US, Japan, and some Western European countries.
Economic conditions are getting better, but improvements in glasses and contact lenses, along with a shift in visual demands due to reliance on digital devices, have softened demand for refractive surgery in many wealthy nations. Today’s contact lenses are easier to wear, and glasses have become more fashion forward and easier to purchase. Need for distance vision has decreased, as use of digital devices shifts visual demands to more intermediate ranges.
We forecast modest growth in procedure demand going forward, based on technological advancements, continuing economic improvement, especially in emerging markets, and rising rates of myopia in developed nations.
We expect the number of refractive surgeons and laser centers to grow in step with changes in demand, with most of the growth in China, India, and other emerging market areas. In some wealthy regions, the number of providers declined markedly during the global recession of 2008 to 2011, but we expect these markets to recover to some extent during the next five years.
Market Scope published its 2017 Refractive Surgery Report in December. It includes detailed estimates and forecasts of the market, including increased use of new technologies, such as femtosecond lasers, and recent FDA approval of Zeiss’ small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) procedure. We have also expanded our presbyopia surgery coverage to include corneal inlays and other surgical procedures that address presbyopia.