Researching this month’s feature on surgery trends was interesting … and a little frustrating.
We gained insight from the experts who spoke with us. For example, we learned that spay/neuter procedures are down in the general practice, as such procedures drift to lower-cost venues. We learned that young veterinarians are more likely than their predecessors to refer out cases to surgical specialists. We also learned that as technology advances, surgery is less invasive, and recovery times are briefer – all of which should lead a growing number of general practitioners to perform surgical procedures in their practice.
But researching the topic was frustrating, because of the difficulty we had finding statistics on what types of surgical procedures are being performed, how many of them are being performed, and who is performing them (board-certified surgeons or general practitioners).
Our interest in the subject was more than academic. Our intent was to offer readers hard data to help them decide how to approach their customers about surgical devices and equipment. But for now, at least, anecdotal information will have to be enough.
And that’s probably OK too. After all, who better than the distributor sales rep to have a good idea of surgical volume in their accounts? Who better to gauge the willingness of the veterinarian to climb out of his or her comfort zone to do a little more surgery than they did in the past? Who better than the distributor sales rep to spot those practitioners who have a firm grasp on the economics of performing surgery in-house? So, even though we can’t offer hard numbers on surgery trends, we can at least provide some talking points.
Do your customers trust you enough to help them “push the envelope” this year? Are they up to speed on the advanced technologies that make performing surgery in the general practice affordable and practical?