What Does the Medical Device and Medical Instruments Industry Do?

The terms medical instruments and surgical equipment manufacturers are broad, and they fall into the even wider sector of life sciences. These terms, while they may be general, refer to something incredibly important within healthcare and medical services.

Surgical instruments manufacturers, also often medical device companies, create the products that are used in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of medical conditions. As opposed to the biotech and pharmaceutical sectors, medical devices and surgical instruments are used, as the name implies, during surgery and medical interventions.

Best Surgical Instruments Manufacturers Red Award Emblem

Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Surgical Instruments Manufacturers

Within the surgical equipment industry, the cost of research and development is high, and innovation comes at a premium.

Manufacturers of surgical instruments, surgical tools, and surgical equipment face a lot of regulation, and they must achieve FDA approval before their products can go to market. For that reason, many of these surgical instruments manufacturers prefer to build on existing products rather than to create entirely new surgical equipments.

The surgical and medical instruments industry is important in a few distinct ways. First, it’s important within healthcare. Surgical equipment manufacturers are also important in terms of career prospects because the industry employees a large number of professionals. It’s also relevant in terms of investing and its role in the overall economy, with the medical device market currently expected to reach $155 billion in 2017.

The following ranking looks at some of the top surgical instruments manufacturers from around the world and highlights specifics that set these surgical equipment companies apart.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Surgical Instruments Manufacturers

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the manufacturers’ names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that medical instruments company):

Top 6 Best Surgical Instruments Manufacturers | Brief Comparison

Surgical Equipment Manufacturers


Key Specialties

Boston Scientific

Marlborough, MA

Interventional radiology and cardiology, vascular surgery, gynecology and urology
Dextera Surgical

Redwood City, CA

Thoracic and cardiac

Lake Forest, IL

Infusion pumps
Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon)

Somerville, NJ, and Cincinnati, OH

Surgical sutures

Dublin, Ireland, and Fridley, MN

Advanced surgical technology, cardiac rhythm, cardiovascular
SIM Surgical

St. Louis, MO

Contracted manufacturing of surgical instruments and surgical equipment
Table: Top 6 Surgical Instruments Manufacturers | Above list is sorted alphabetically

What Are the Primary Types of Surgical Instruments and Surgical Supplies?

The medical device industry involves quite a few subcategories. In general, the categories that are used to define medical devices further include:

  • Diagnostic equipment including ultrasounds, CT scanners, and X-ray machines
  • Treatment equipment that includes infusion pumps and medical lasers
  • Life support equipment like heart-lung machines and dialysis machines
  • Medical monitors that look at the vital signs of a patient such as blood pressure and EEG
  • Laboratory equipment
  • Diagnostic medical equipment
  • Therapeutic devices such as physical therapy machines

When looking specifical at basic surgical instruments and surgical tools, there are even further classifications. Some of the most common medical instruments that are made by surgery equipment manufacturers include:

  • Graspers
  • Retractors
  • Mechanical cutters
  • Suction tips and tubes
  • Irrigation and injection needs
  • Scopes and probes
  • Measurement devices

These are just a few of the many categories of surgical tools and surgical equipment that may be produced by surgical instruments manufacturers.

surgical instruments manufacturers

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Detailed Review—Top Ranking Surgical Equipment Manufacturers

Below, please find the detailed review of each of the top surgical instruments manufacturers. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed each of the surgical instruments suppliers to score so well in our selection ranking.

Boston Scientific Review

Boston Scientific is one of the world’s top surgical equipment manufacturers, with 22 million patients treated each year, and commercial representation in more than 100 countries.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Surgical Equipment Manufacturers

Reasons Boston Scientific is in this ranking as a top producer of surgical supplies, surgical equipment, and surgical tools are below.

Large-Scale Provider of Medical Instruments

Boston Scientific is one of the largest developers and manufacturers of medical instruments and surgical instruments in the world. This surgical equipments company treats tens of millions of patients each year and offers 13,000 products.

This leader among surgical equipment companies has more than $8 billion in operational sales, and they have invested $876 million in research and development.

Medical Specialties

Boston Scientific is one of the leading surgical instruments suppliers and providers of medical instruments, and they offer products across a wide variety of specialties. Some of the specialties include:

  • Electrophysiology
  • Female pelvic medicine
  • Gastroenterology
  • Gynecology
  • Interventional Cardiology
  • Interventional radiology
  • Neurological surgery
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Pain medicine
  • Pulmonology
  • Urology
  • Vascular surgery


A big reason Boston Scientific is included in this ranking is because of their dedication to innovation. As mentioned at the start of this ranking of the top surgical instruments suppliers, not all companies are as focused on research and development, and instead, they may repurpose existing products.

Boston Scientific strives to lead the way in terms of innovation and research and development.

They pave the way for the most valuable innovation by collaborating with healthcare professionals to determine where needs lie, which has led to some of their top solutions including the Precision Montage MRI Spinal Cord Stimulator which is designed to provide customized chronic pain relief.

Boston Scientific also puts focus on listening to patients in order to solve the most difficult obstacles and challenges being faced in healthcare.

This leader among surgical equipment manufacturers hosts a global contest that encourages the development of new ideas, as well as the use of big data to improve patient outcomes, which is called the Boston Scientific Connect Patient Challenge.

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Dextera Surgical Review

Dextera Surgical recently underwent a name change and was previously known as Cardica.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Surgical Equipment Manufacturers

Key reasons Dextera is included on this list of the top surgery equipment manufacturers are below.

CABG Surgery

Thirteen years ago Dextera Surgical introduced the first automated anastomosis system for use in cardiac surgery. They still have the only device of its kind for coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) currently available on the market.

As well as that innovation, Dextera has also since expanded its portfolio with products focused on advancing minimally invasive surgery.

One of Dextera’s newest medical instruments and surgical instruments to come to market is the MicroCutter 5/80s stapler, which is the smallest surgical stapling device available.


Dextera isn’t one of the surgical instruments manufacturers on this ranking that has a wide variety of specialties, but instead, they have narrowly tailored specialties, which allow them to excel in the areas they do work in.

For example, within the specialty area of thoracic surgery, Dextera created a MicroCutter with the smallest profile and the widest freedom of movement of any articulating stapler currently available. It reduces the dissection required to place the stapler around challenging vessels.

It also provides for better visibility and easier placement.

Cardiac Surgery

Along with thoracic surgery, the other specialty at Dextera is cardiac surgery. The cardiac products offered by Dextera help doctors replace hand-sewn sutures with automated systems. This provides consistency and reliability in anastomoses, even with very small vessels.

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Hospira Review

Hospira is a surgical equipment company and one of the top surgical instruments manufacturers that’s part of the Pfizer Corporation. Hospira specializes in infusion technology.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of 2017’s Best Medical Instruments Companies

Reasons Hospira is included on this ranking of the top surgical equipment manufacturers and manufacturers of surgical tools are in the following list.

Clinical Services

One of the unique elements of Hospira that makes it stand out from other providers of surgical supplies and medical instruments is their Clinical Services team.

The team that’s part of this leading provider of surgical tools is responsible for providing clinical expertise to clients. The team includes Nursing and Pharmacy Consultants who can provide data analysis, benchmarking, clinical product usage assessments, clinical consultation, and clinical education services.

The Clinical Services team of this top producer of surgical equipments can also support clients with their Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations requirements and compliance.

Hospira - surgical equipment manufacturers

Hospira Review

Infusion Pumps

A primary focus area regarding medical instruments at Hospira is high-performance infusion pumps, designed for reliability in the delivery of medication.

Hospira has the objective of helping doctors provide the utmost in patient care and safety, and their innovative smart pump and pain management products are designed to offer safety and help providers meet their workflow goals.

Specific infusion pumps and systems available from Hospira, one of the top providers of surgical equipment, include:

  • Plum 360 Infusion System
  • Lifecare PCA Infusion System
  • SapphirePlus Infusion System
  • Sapphire Infusion System
  • Pump accessories


Along with surgical supplies and surgical equipment, Hospira creates safety software and IV-EMR interoperability.

This is to ensure patient safety and high-quality care, and the software products offered by this leader among surgical equipment manufacturers help care providers access important information about patients and their treatments.

To streamline patient information, Hospira offers Hospira IV-EMR interoperability, to connect medication to the IV pump, patient information and EMR. The Hospira MedNet safety software solution manages information about IV infusions and helps maintain clinical best practices.

Johnson & Johnson Review

Johnson & Johnson is a multinational manufacturer of not just medical instruments and surgical tools, but also pharmaceuticals, biotechnology products, and personal hygiene products. Most surgical instruments and medical instruments are produced under the Ethicon name, which is a subsidiary of J&J.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Surgical Equipment Manufacturers

In terms of creating surgical tools and surgical supplies, the following are some reasons Johnson & Johnson is included on this list of the best surgical instruments manufacturers.


What’s unique about J&J as compared to many other producers of basic surgical instruments and surgical instruments suppliers is their long history in the industry. J&J has long been leading the way regarding the production of surgical tools and surgical equipment, and their history goes back more than 130 years.

This producer of surgical instruments was founded in New Brunswick, NJ, and is known as the first mass producer of sterile sutures, as well as surgical dressings, cotton, and gauze.

Ethicon Business

One of the many areas of innovation that’s focused on at J&J is within the area of Ethicon and endocutter technology.

This top producer of surgical equipment has led the way in the development of advanced tissue management. This includes surgical stapling as well as endocutter technology.

Ethicon provides surgeons with some of the most advanced surgical instruments, designed to produce optimal patient outcomes.  


Another focus area at J&J regarding surgical tools and medical instruments is in biosurgery. J&J works to produce technology and innovation that’s focused on minimizing intra- and post-operative complications.

These solutions are biologically based and help lower the cost of operational conditions that have previously been expensive and difficult to manage, such as problematic bleeding.

Advancements are also being made by this company in the area of wound closure, and this company features a comprehensive wound closure portfolio.

Medtronic Review

Medtronic is a medical instruments company that has been named as one of the most admired companies in the world by Fortune Magazine.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as a 2017 Best Surgical Instruments Manufacturers

Specifics of why Medtronic is included on this list of the leading surgical equipment manufacturers and surgical equipment companies are below.

Advanced Surgical Technology

One area of specialization at Medtronic in terms of surgical instruments and surgical tools is advanced surgical technology.

Medtronic leads the way in the production of this advanced surgical equipments, and specific products offered by the company include ablation systems, electrosurgical hardware and instruments, smoke evacuation, ultrasonic dissection, and vessel sealing.

Product Categories

Medtronic is an expansive international company that specializes in a wide variety of categories regarding surgical instruments, surgical supplies, and surgical equipment. These categories include:

  • Cardiac rhythm
  • Cardiovascular
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive and gastrointestinal
  • Ear, nose, and throat
  • General surgery
  • Neurological
  • Patient care
  • Patient monitoring
  • Respiratory
  • Spinal and Orthopedic
  • Urological and urogynecological

Areas of Focus

Along with leading in innovation in everything from basic surgical instruments to advanced surgical tools, Medtronic is one of the surgical equipment companies on this list that has other focus areas as well. These include:

  • Development of  products, therapies, and services to improve hospital efficiency
  • Delivery of clinical education, medical evidence, and practice support
  • Breakthrough technologies combined with educational support
  • Remote monitoring of patients with Care Management Services
  • Practical resources for all medical specialties
  • The Medtronic Academy provides education on cardiac rhythm and cardiovascular therapy
  • Minimally invasive therapy development

Medtronic - surgical tools

Image Source: Medtronic

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SIM Surgical Review

SIM Surgical does contract manufacturing for medical devices, and they have a reputation spanning more than 45 years.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Surgical Instruments Suppliers

Among surgical instruments suppliers and surgery equipment manufacturers, the following are some standout elements of SIM Surgical.


SIM is actually unique from the other surgical equipment companies in this ranking. They are contracted by development companies to do the actual manufacturing and engineering of surgical equipment. They have a completely modern facility, and they specialize in the production of German quality surgical instruments and implants.

This leader among surgical equipment manufacturers has an industry reputation for being on time and always delivering products that are top quality.


SIM has a long and established history among surgery equipment manufacturers, having been founded in 1968.

SIM is a provider of contract manufacturing solutions, and they are built on a customized business model that is based on hand craftsmanship and innovation.

These elements are the supported by their production processes, which aim to bring surgical instruments and surgical equipment from conception to volume production quickly and cost-efficiently.

Commitment to Customers

A big part of why SIM has risen to become one of the world’s leading surgical equpiments producers and surgery equipment manufacturers is because of their commitment to the customer.

They guarantee they hire, train, and empower the best engineers, craftsmen, and machinists to work for them. They also put the utmost priority on quality in production, and they have manufacturing and quality controls systems in place that allow for replicable results.

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Conclusion—Top 6 Best Surgical Instruments Manufacturers

The medical device industry including the manufacturing of surgical instruments, surgical tools, and surgical equipments is a massive one, and it continues to grow.

Surgical instruments manufacturers and producers of everything from basic surgical instruments to advanced surgical tools are widening their scope and becoming one of the world’s preeminent industries.

The above ranking and review of leading surgical equipment manufacturers and surgical instruments suppliers focuses on the best companies in the world, which are known for  innovation and quality.

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