Symmetry Surgical : The New-Age Medtech Juggernaut
Brian Straeb CEO This timeless adage embodies the true spirit of Symmetry Surgical. The company has been a leading player in the healthcare technology space for nearly 45 years, delivering high-quality surgical instrumentation, a full line electrosurgery portfolio, and minimally invasive surgical devices. As a result, Symmetry Surgical has maintained a rich legacy of trusted brands, quality, innovation, and customer service, supporting all surgical specialties and sites of care.
The company’s roots go back to 1976 as a regional surgical instrument provider primarily in the Southeastern United States, known at the time as Specialty Surgical Instrumentation (SSI). The company grew rapidly and was subsequently acquired by Symmetry Medical in 2007, changing their name to Symmetry Surgical, Inc. to reflect their convergence. The acquisition enabled the company to reach a national scale.
Today, Symmetry Surgical is led by President and CEO Brian Straeb, an accomplished executive with 30 years of experience in the MedTech industry. Since joining Symmetry Surgical in June of 2018, Brian has led the organization's integration of the Bovie and OR Company acquisitions while focusing on organic revenue growth across the legacy instrument portfolio. His executive leadership team is comprised of executives with professional experience ranging from Fortune 100 companies to privately held start-ups.
Empowered By a Robust Solution Portfolio
“Symmetry Surgical’s heritage in surgical instrumentation originates in the quaint town of Tuttlingen, Germany known for centuries as the home of some of the finest surgical instrument craftsmanship in the world,” says Straeb.
For most hospitals, surgical instrument inventory is a major investment consisting of thousands of surgical sets and tens of thousands of instruments. Over time, many different hospital employees are involved in entering instrument inventory data into their tracking systems and count sheets. Many times, important information is entered incorrectly, partially, left blank or unknowingly duplicated, creating significant data integrity issues. Without data integrity, hospitals are unable to standardize vendors and instrument sets both of which can dramatically improve operational efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness.
To address this challenge, Symmetry Surgical has developed proprietary Instrument Inventory Solutions to cleanse and systematically organize inventory data and count sheets through its Count Sheet Commander™ solution. Count Sheet Commander™ enables the OR to understand EXACTLY what they have in their active inventory and on their count sheets, facilitating accurate assembly & pulling of sets, identifying critical instruments, and eliminating duplication of instrument types across vendors.
Standardizing sets requires knowing precisely what exists in inventory and the differences between sets. Manually opening and comparing sets to understand the differences in instrument type and count between sets is a daunting, time-consuming task. This type of process can In a world where knowledge is power, data can provide critical insights that can transform how we do things. Symmetry Surgical’s Set IQ™ is helping to solve the complexities of set standardization and can perform over 1 billion analyses of thousands of surgical sets in as little as 72 hours. take months—even years.
Symmetry Surgical maintains a significant portfolio of surgical instruments, electrosurgery and minimally invasive surgery devices. Our surgical instruments carry Germany as the country of origin, manufactured in the quaint town of Tuttlingen, Germany, known for centuries as home to the finest surgical instrument craftsmanship in the world.”
The company’s set standardization soution offers powerful decision support to help customers efficiently reduce inventory costs, create additional valuable sets, and reduce reprocessing costs.
At times, the supply chain for surgical instrumentation and devices can be challenging due to the wide array of instrument types across many surgical specialties with significantly varying volumes and replacement intervals.
“Symmetry Surgical recognizes the need to help hospitals reduce their cost structure, especially following the impact of the pandemic. In response, we have created partnership programs for our customers that are designed to create supply chain efficiencies which reduce the cost of doing business. Through collaboration with our customers, we become more efficient and cost effective and share in the benefits of the shrinking “cost pie” within an at-risk model. These types of innovative and disruptive Instrument Inventory Solutions are addressing significant unmet customer needs that improve efficiency, lower cost, and improve quality,” says Straeb.
In Focus: Electrosurgery and MIS
Electrosurgery is used in approximately 85 percent of all surgical procedures. Electrosurgery creates a hazardous surgical smoke plume for surgeons and staff, with studies demonstrating damage equivalent to smoking 27 cigarettes per day. Several states have already adopted legislation mandating the use of surgical smoke evacuation in attempts to mitigate the risk to surgical teams.
Symmetry Surgical’s Bovie® line of smoke evacuation solutions provide industry-leading performance to effectively remove surgical smoke from the operating theater. The Bovie® smoke evacuation system is comprised of the Smoke Shark III® smoke evacuation unit and Orca® a smoke evacuation pencil that removes up to 55 percent more smoke plume than its competitors.
Coming to the MIS world, surgeons sometimes have challenges achieving optimal access to surgical landmarks due to patients, anatomy during laparoscopic and robotic hysterectomies. Symmetry Surgical offers the Uterine ElevatOR Pro™ with OccludOR™ Balloon, an easy-to-use uterine manipulator that maintains pneumoperitoneum and improves exposure to the patient’s pelvic anatomy.
Its curved design aligns to the angle of the sacral curve, and its stiffer shaft enables more effective manipulation of larger uteri. When applying celphalad pressure, the Uterine ElevatOR™ Pro with OccludOR™ Balloon delineates the vaginal fornices and clearly displaces the ureters, creating a safe operative margin for the colpotomy incision.
A Conglomeration of Industry Behemoths
Through several strategic acquisitions, Symmetry Surgical has grown its product portfolio of surgical instruments and devices to consist of some of the most trusted brands in the industry. The portfolio is comprised of over 25,000 instruments and devices across our three business segments; Instruments, Electrosurgery, and Minimally Invasive Surgery.
“Our portfolio spans every surgical specialty recognized by the American College of Surgeons across all sites of care. Our Instrument portfolio dates to 1838 when Thomas Codman established an instrument business, and Symmetry Surgical later acquired the Codman Instrument portfolio from J&J in 2012. The Codman acquisition quickly catapulted the company into a leadership position in neurosurgery and becoming a global company,” says Straeb.
Olsen Medical was established in 1880 and acquired by Symmetry Surgical in 2011. This represented Symmetry Surgical’s entry into the electrosurgery market and was followed by an acquisition of Bovie Medical in 2018, a name synonymous with electrosurgery.
In January of 2020, Symmetry Surgical acquired The OR Company, a high growth innovator of minimally invasive surgery devices. The acquisition quickly enhanced Symmetry Surgical’s minimally invasive surgery portfolio with clinically differentiated devices coupled with disruptive economics, which allowed this portfolio to experience significant double-digit growth in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The OR Company’s new product pipeline is also robust and poised to contribute significant top-line growth for Symmetry Surgical.
The Road Ahead
Symmetry Surgical has built a strong global presence with such strategic acquisitions and participates in four key market segments: Acute Care, Physician Office, Ambulatory Surgery Centers, and Animal Health. The company’s approach to address customer needs across all segments around the world is customized by market and region, with a customer first mentality. Their commercial teams have deep industry experience in their respective markets and geographic territories, whether directly in the U.S. or through distribution partnerships outside the U.S.
Backed by deep industry expertise and a robust solution portfolio, Symmetry Surgical’s primary goal is to safely navigate the post-COVID landscape to first protect its employees so they can support their customers and the patients they serve. In the months to come, the company envisions accelerating its investment in new products and solutions that provide high quality and best-in-class value. “We want to secure and enhance our supply chain and streamline operations to ensure our customers can get the products the need when they need them,” concludes Straeb.
Description Symmetry Surgical, headquartered in Nashville, TN, is a leading healthcare technology and solutions supplier of high-quality surgical instrumentation, a full line electrosurgery portfolio and minimally invasive surgical devices. The company maintains a rich legacy of trusted brands, quality, innovation, and customer service, supporting all surgical specialties and sites of care. The company operates new product development, manufacturing, distribution and sourcing facilities in Nashville, TN, Louisville, KY, Tuttlingen, Germany and Melbourne, Australia
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