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Two quarters of slowing laser vision correction procedures are raising questions about whether demand is decreasing or simply returning to normal levels after a busy 2021.  

In total, 194, 461 procedures were performed within the second one fourth of 2022, including Lasik, small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE), and implantable lenses. That’s   down 16% compared to the year-ago period, BTIG Analyst Ryan Zimmerman wrote in an Aug. 18 research note, citing data from trade group the Refractive Surgery Council.

The report includes procedure volumes from manufacturers Alcon, Johnson & Manley, Staar Surgical , Zeiss plus Ziemer, as well while the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgical treatment.  

Procedure volumes also were down 8. 8% in the particular first quarter compared to the same period in 2021.

That’s after a record year for laser eye surgery procedures, with roughly 832, 000 in 2021. By comparison, before the pandemic, there had been about 725, 000 in order to 750, 500 procedures per year, according to the note.  

The early 2022 slowdown raises questions about whether there was a pull-forward associated with demand in 2021, or if rising inflation or even weakening consumer sentiment are contributing to waning procedure quantities, Zimmerman published.

What does that mean for producers of these products?  

For companies including eye-care firm Alcon,   and Staar Surgical, which specializes in implantable lenses, it isn’t likely to translate to the material impact on their businesses, based on the research note.  

In part, that’s because cataract equipment sales largely drove Alcon’s second one fourth results, even as sales of refractive surgery equipment were weaker. With regard to Staar, the company is so earlier in the launch associated with its Evo implantable lens in the particular U. S., that even if there was clearly a pull-forward or an overall slowdown in demand, “ it’s mostly immaterial like [Staar] is not likely to reach scale until FY23, ” had written Zimmerman.  

Regarding the full year 2022, l aser vision correction procedure volumes in the U. S. are expected to decline about 5% from last year, at 790, 000 total methods.

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