With so many options for premium operating tables, you may find it challenging to select a surgical table for your hospital. However, the operating tables market is growing and will reach US $1,043.41 million by 2028, according to an analysis by The Insight Partners.
With this forecasted growth rate, you need to know how to quickly find the best surgical tables for your operating room (OR). If you are unsure about what factors to consider before buying a surgical table, this guide can help you. We explain the importance of each factor — from patient positioning to automation.
But first, let us define an operating table and explore some characteristics.
What is an operating table?
An operating table, also called a surgical table or operating room table, is a table on which a patient lies during a surgical procedure. You’ll find operating tables in operating rooms, ambulatory surgery centers, or specialty surgery centers. Their function is to provide an elevated surface that supports and stabilizes the patient’s body during surgery.
The best operating tables have the following characteristics:
Proper patient positioning
Careless positioning can put patients at risk for serious adverse events physically and physiologically. Badly-positioned patients can have mechanical stress, pressure sores, or even paralysis. To prevent physiological damage, you should also consider how positioning will affect the patient’s hemodynamics, including how far the head is tilted from the level of the heart. This is because patient positioning affects how well the circulatory system will respond.
Weight capacity range
The weights of your patients matter when choosing a surgical table. The weight capacity requirements differ based on whether the surgery is neurology, urology, orthopedic, cardiology, or bariatric. For example, bariatric patients who need a gastric bypass for weight loss need tables with a weight capacity of at least 1,000 lbs while being sturdy with flexible positioning and height adjustments.
Modern tables now offer hybrid options for motorized control, which prevents the stress of manual operations and physical accidents with hospital staff. Surgeons and nursing staff can now reposition their patients with the push of a button, an essential upgrade from older versions of surgical tables.
What factors should you consider when choosing an operating table?
As a distributor of surgical tables from various brands, Meditek recommends that you start by identifying the needs of your operating room team and facility. Like any other product, when comparing “apples to apples,” there are better OR tables than others. It all depends on what type of operation or application you need to perform.
Important questions to ask before choosing a surgical table include:
- What procedures will be performed?
- In what position will the patient be placed during surgery?
- Will the patient need to be moved or repositioned frequently?
- Will the surgery require imaging?
- What materials are used to manufacture the surgical table?
- What ergonomic benefits will the surgical table provide for the surgeons and supporting staff?
Understanding the type of procedures and patient positionings, as well as how often your patient will need to be repositioned can help you choose surgical tables with minimum risks for that position. Knowing whether the surgery requires imaging can help you select hybrid tables to allow for imaging applications. The materials used can help you figure out your long-term costs. Lastly, consider the ergonomic benefits — whether the surgical table is comfortable for surgeons and supporting staff. You don’t want your hospital staff suffering from back or body pain.
You should also factor in the history of the table’s manufacturing company, especially because the turnover for surgical tables is low (hospitals don’t replace their operating tables often). You should go with a company that has a strong background and has been in the business for many years. The big manufacturers for operating tables include Skytron, Stryker, Getinge (Maquet), Steris, and Mizuho OSI (Figure 1).
Skytron is the Healthcare Efficiency Specialist, providing full-room solutions of capital equipment, architectural and real-time information systems for Medical, Surgical, Sterile Processing, and Infection Prevention. Skytron is an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) distributor. Although Skytron is not a multi-billion company like the rest of their competitors, they have the most top slides on the market, uniquely-designed top-rotation tables, and higher-quality stainless steel than competitors. Skytron is a family-owned company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a commitment to building strong customer relationships through a dedicated network of sales representatives.
Stryker Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets specialty surgical and medical products. The company’s products include implants, biologics, surgical equipment, and other medical devices.
Getinge acquired Maquet in 2000. The company offers products and solutions for intensive care, cardiovascular procedures, operating rooms, sterile reprocessing, and life science.
Steris provides medical products and services. The company offers a wide range of infection prevention and procedural surgical products.
Mizuho Medical’s line of business includes the wholesale distribution of surgical and other medical instruments, apparatus, and equipment.
Figure 1: Big manufacturers of surgical tables
Choosing Your Surgical Table Based on Product Type
One of the most common ways to select a surgical table is to examine the product type. To help you select the right one, we’ve categorized all surgical tables by product type below:
In 2020, general surgery tables occupied the largest market among all global operating tables. In general surgery, doctors use a central core of knowledge that embraces various branches of medicine, including anatomy, physiology, metabolism, immunology, nutrition, pathology, wound healing, shock and resuscitation, intensive care, and neoplasia. General surgeons are knowledgeable about the management of the different parts of the human body. They perform various life-saving procedures every day due to their broad training.
General surgery tables have unique characteristics for catering to the different types of surgeries a general surgeon performs. Manufacturers make them versatile so that they can be adjusted to various factors, including:
- Patient height
- Patient positioning
- Table lengths
Here are the top general surgery operating tables to choose from:
Skytron 6302 Elite Operating Table
The key feature of the 6302 Elite table is the 210° top rotation. This allows the surgical staff to easily maneuver the patient according to imaging requirements, anesthesia access, and positioning preferences. The rotation also eliminates the need to reverse the patient on the table, thereby improving patient and staff safety in the OR.
Skytron 6702 Hercules General Operating Table
The Skytron 6702 Hercules table is one of the strongest surgical tables on the market. It has an impressive 1,200 lb lift capacity, which means it is beneficial for bariatric patients. This table is also useful when there’s the need for imaging; with the turn of a handle, it quickly rotates toward the C-arm and the low-profile base stays clear of the imaging equipment.
Skytron 3503 EZ Slide Operating Table
This Skytron table is the tallest of all their surgical tables. It comes fully pre-programmed with one-touch maneuvers. With just the click of a button, surgeons can move the patient through the imaging window. Also, the Skytron 3503 table features an inexpensive rebuild program that eliminates the need for a costly replacement.
Skytron 3603 Ultraslide Opera Table
The Skytron 3603 has the industry’s longest top slide — 26”. This is Skytron’s high-end sliding top surgical table. It also has an articulation weight of 800 pounds and, yet, its capacity is never compromised by the top slide. One key feature is the removable back and leg sections. The Skytron 3603 Ultraslide table also features a one-touch pendant control that comes with an inexpensive rebuild program, which removes the need for a costly replacement. The 3603 Ultraslide surgical table has been Skytron’s bestseller since 2017.
Skytron GS70 Salus Surgical Table
This is Skytron’s most advanced table. With 800 lbs articulation and 1000 pounds lift weight capacities, the GS70 Salus is the next generation of Skytron surgical tables. This table was named after Salus, the Roman goddess of safety and well-being. The unique features of the GS70 Salus lives up to its name – it keeps the surgical staff informed and safe with verbal communications for warnings like extreme articulation and table brakes unlocking. It also has visual indicators of articulation and brake indicator lights. All the table notifications can be viewed on the table’s touch screen with up to five programmable positions. The table also prevents collision accidents with ongoing calculations of its relation to the floor. This table not only monitors surgical data but also records the data and can wirelessly send this data to other systems.
Steris 4085 General Surgical Table
The Steris 4085 table has a four-section tabletop that contours to different patient positions. It can accommodate all patients due to its versatile height and weight range. It also has a powered slide that improves C-arm access with the leg section that can be quickly removed for unrestricted perineal access. The table provides an easy-to-read digital display for surgeons to view positioning data and it has an Auto Limit Sensor™ (ALS) that allows surgeons to operate the table without worrying about unintended collisions.
Steris 3085 General Surgical Table
When used in the normal orientation, the Steris 3085 General Surgical Table supports 1,000 pounds; and when used in the side tilt position, it supports 500 pounds. In the normal orientation position, you can raise, lower, and position the patient in various positions. When the mobile, radiolucent orthopedic extension is in place, it has the positioning flexibility of an orthopedic surgical table for procedures such as hip pinning, intramedullary nailing, and tibia and fibula surgery.
Steris 4095 General Surgical Table
The Steris 4095 table is a modern surgical table that raises the standards for traditional surgical tables. It provides a large imaging window of 86” that allows for C-arm access and a dual-articulating headrest that allows the surgeon to position the patient properly to receive anesthesia. The tilt and height of the table offer flexibility to improve patient airway management.
Steris 5095 General Surgical Table
The Steris 5095 General Surgical Table offers the highest patient weight capacity and lowest table height that Steris offers, so it easily adapts to any surgical specialty. With a low height of 22.8”, the 5095 Surgical Table can achieve proper patient positioning in bariatric procedures and minimally invasive surgeries (MIS), while the 18” slide on this C-arm compatible operating table creates excellent imaging access crucial for cardiothoracic and neurosurgical procedures. The 5095 surgical Surgical Table accommodates virtually all patients with a generous weight capacity of 1,200 lbs.
Steris 5085 Surgical Table
The Steris 5085 Surgical Table has a low height capability, high weight limit, and large imaging area. For these reasons, it can adapt to virtually every surgical specialty, no matter how difficult the procedure or imaging requirements. The pre-programmed hand control allows for quick one-touch patient positioning for beach chair or rotation. The table also allows 360° rotation during surgery with no support posts or weight calculations.
Maquet Alphamaxx Mobile Operating Table
The overall load for the Maquet Alphamaxx is 1,000 pounds to withstand extreme loads in every position. Even better, the modular design of the Maquet Alphamaxx allows it to adapt to the patient’s body size. In addition, it has a reverse mode that enables surgeons to rotate the patient by 180 degrees offering the benefit of absolute flexibility in patient positioning and patient orientation.
Maquet 1132 General Surgical Table
The Maquet 1132 general surgical table can be moved at ease with the push of a button. It’s unique because you can use a corded hand control or the optional infrared remote control to maneuver and position your patient during surgery.
Stryker Operon D830
The Operon D830 has a height adjustment range of 17.3″ with a motor-driven longitudinal slide of 16.9″. Intraoperative imaging, precise positioning under C-Arm, and maximum flexibility are all possible with this versatile surgical table. The 1,000-lb weight capacity at any articulation in normal orientation allows for use in a variety of cases to meet the needs of your OR staff and surgeons.
Stryker Operon D860
The Operon D860 provides an exceptional height adjustment range of 22.6″ to 46.4″, coupled with a longitudinal slide of 16.9″, so it offers an optimal range of applications. This table has gained a reputation as the best-in-class lift weight capacity of 1,250 lbs among market-leading surgical tables in the US and has a 1,000 lb weight capacity at any articulation in normal orientation.
Orthopedic surgeons specialize in the musculoskeletal system, which includes bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Patients who go to orthopedic doctors generally experience bone and joint pain. Since these types of pain can occur in different parts of the body, most orthopedic surgeons sub-specialize in one treatment area.
Orthopedic surgical tables have special features that allow surgeons to precisely place patients for various open and minimally invasive orthopedic procedures and also have a range of flexible options to reposition patients as needed.
Depending on the orthopedic subspecialty, a surgeon may need a table that is specialized for shoulder, upper extremities, hips, or lower extremities. So you will need to identify what part of the body you will work on before deciding on the best table to purchase.
Here are the top orthopedic surgical tables to choose from:
Maquet 1425 Orthopedic Surgical Table
The Maquet 1425 Orthopedic Surgical Table has good properties for extension treatment in traumatology and is a proven unit for all procedures of osteosynthesis. For shoulder surgery, the Maquet 1425 includes a backplate with electrohydraulic adjustment for various positions.
Maquet Yuno II Mobile Operating Table
With the Maquet Yuno II, your patient can be adjusted to a variety of positions during minimally invasive surgery. This table also comes with radiolucent carbon fiber accessories for improving intraoperative diagnostics.
Mizuho OSI Hana Orthopedic Surgery Table
The Hana table is ideal for the anterior approach to hip surgery and lower limb fractures. It is unique because you can position the patient’s legs independently, with the leg spars allowing for hyperextension, abduction, adduction, and external rotation of the legs. You can also use this table for many other orthopedic procedures.
Steris OT 1000 Series Orthopedic Surgical Table
With the Steris OT 1000 Series Orthopedic Surgical Table, surgeons can operate on a wide range of patients up to seven feet tall. The table also offers precise control with its innovative SWAN technology. An innovative drive function also allows a single user to quickly move the table from one room to another for quicker room set-ups. Another great feature is the capacity for optimized imaging – you can easily capture a full range of images from mid-abdomen to distal lower extremities.
Steris OT 1100 Advanced Orthopedic Surgical Table
The Steris OT 1100 advanced orthopedic surgical table is designed primarily for hip and lower extremity procedures like hip pinning, ender nailing, intramedullary nailing of the femur, and tibia and fibula surgery. It has a power-adjustable height, Trendelenburg/reverse Trendelenburg, and lateral and lateral tilt functions. The head section is manual and adjustable.
Steris OT 1200 Advanced Orthopedic Surgical Table
This advanced table is a mobile, manually-operated orthopedic table with key features such as a 500-lb capacity, carbon fiber self-locking abductor bar positioning, table drive, and easy storage folding spars. It provides flexible and easy-to-use articulated positioning of the patient, including lateral tilt, Trendelenburg and Reverse Trendelenburg. It is used for reconstructive and reparative orthopedic procedures, such as hip pinning, ender nailing, and intramedullary nailing of the femur, tibia, and fibula surgery. Its flexibility and excellent C-arm access make it ideal for surgical imaging, setup efficiency, and procedural flexibility. With optional accessories, the table can also be used for certain upper body procedures such as shoulder surgery, non-operative myelograms, and hip spicas.
Surgeries that use minimally invasive procedures rely on intraoperative imaging to help guide them. And when you need imaging, it’s best to go with specialized surgical tables that can capture the details using fluoroscopy. Surgical tables for imaging usually have the following key features:
- Radiolucent tables: The make-up of radiolucent tables allow X-rays to pass through them for imaging purposes. They usually have a metal-free tabletop and less padding.
- Carbon fiber tabletop: The material of imaging surgical tabletops determines the quality of images you get. Carbon fiber is a composite material that prevents artifacts from showing up in X-ray scans. The higher the level of carbon fiber, the better the quality of your imaging surgical table. One of the trends impacting the surgical table market growth is the presence of carbon fiber tabletops that support hybrid ORs.
- High maneuverability: Imaging tables that can be moved around without having to reposition the entire equipment and patient are great for imaging accessibility.
Here are the top imaging surgical tables to choose from:
Biodex Surgical C-Arm Table – 840
The 058-840 surgical table has an extra-large, 75” radiolucent area, which makes it ideal for procedures that require imaging. The radiolucent layer does not have any cross members, which means that you can perform full fluoroscopic visualizations using this table. It also has a free-float X-Y tabletop for freedom of movement, and motorized control of height operated by easy hand-held and foot-operated controllers for adjusting lateral roll and Trendelenburg motions. This table also comes with a catheter tray extension making it ideal for cardiovascular and interventional radiology procedures. Its cantilevered low attenuation carbon fiber tabletop can accommodate portable or ceiling-suspended C-Arms.
Biodex Surgical C-Arm Table – 846
The Biodex Surgical C-Arm Table – 846 is the more affordable C-Arm option ideal for private practices. Just like the 840 tables, the 846 has an extra-large, 75” radiolucent area, which makes it ideal for procedures that require imaging, and its radiolucent layer does not have any cross members. It also has a free-float X-Y tabletop for freedom of movement. Again here, the cantilevered low attenuation carbon fiber tabletop can accommodate portable or ceiling-suspended C-Arms.
Steris SurgiGraphic 6000 Image-Guided Surgical Table
The SurgiGraphic 600 table gives you higher quality imaging with less radiation energy because it has minimized attenuation, scatter, and edge effects. One key feature is its unobstructed imaging from the carotid to the distal tibia, which means that you get a 360° view as if the patient were floating in space. Another feature is the Surgeon Palm Control with which the surgeon can completely control every table movement. This is a great option for minimally invasive endovascular, vascular, cardiovascular, pain management, and other procedures requiring intraoperative fluoroscopic C-Arm imaging.
Specialty tables are named because each one is designed for a surgical specialty. The American College of Surgeons recognizes 14 surgical specialties and for some of them, you can benefit from using surgical tables designed specifically for that surgery. Note that some tables offer multi-specialty uses as well.
Here are the top specialty surgical tables to choose from:
If you are looking for a top surgical table for orthopedics, we recommend the Steris OT 1000 series. Already listed in the orthopedic section, the OT series has many features that are key in successful orthopedic surgeries, including precise control using the innovative SWAN technology, drive function that allows a single user to move the table from room to room, optimized imaging system, and integrated safety lock to prevent unintended movements. Steris offers the OT 1000 series as its main orthopedic table option. Within the series, you can select from the models OT 1000, OT 1100, and OT 1200.
For Cardiothoracic Surgery: Magnatek Cardiomatic 4S
Designed exclusively for cardiothoracic procedures, the Cardiomatic 4S has an extra low height of 28” compared to a standard height of 32”. This helps cardiothoracic surgeons operate on the heart and thorax more easily. The Cardiomatic 4S also features a remote-controlled tabletop slide for easy patient positioning, a comfortable patient sit-up position, and outstanding access to C-arm with high-quality images.
For Neurologic Surgery: Skytron 7200 B Neurology Surgical Table
Neurologic surgeries are hypersensitive. The Skytron 7200 B Neurology Surgical Table has the precision movements for sensitive surgeries while being electro-hydraulically operated. It can be adjusted to various neurology surgery positions, including lateral tilt, Trendelenburg, and Reverse Trendelenburg. To protect against accidental actuation of the surgical table during a critical procedure, the posturing control unit requires two separate actions to initiate any posturing change.
For Urology: Skytron 3100A Urology and Cysto Surgical Table
The Skytron 3100A Urology and Cysto Surgical Table was developed for maximum C-arm access in procedures where only limited tilt and Trendelenburg is required. It has a 23½ inch longitudinal top slide for unobstructed C-Arm access in hip revisions and ureteroscopies.
For Urology: Biodex 810 Urology and Cysto Surgical Table
The Biodex 810 Urology and Cysto Surgical Table provides complete access to the patient’s urinary tract while minimizing radiation exposure to clinicians. The narrow Fiberesin™ tabletop of the Brachytherapy C-Arm Surgical Table is cantilevered to accommodate portable or ceiling-suspended C-Arms. Radiolucent areas are free of cross members, allowing full fluoroscopic visualization and unobstructed C-Arm positioning. Motorized actuation of height, X-Y, lateral roll, and Trendelenburg motions of the tabletop, with pre-programmed features, ensure quick and safe tabletop positioning during any phase of a procedure.
For Imaging: Skytron 3008 Clarity Specialty Table
If you are looking for a premier imaging table, the 3008 Clarity Specialty Table is what you probably need. It features 83” of radiolucent carbon fiber surface so that imaging specialists can use the lowest doses for imaging and still get high clarity. It also offers an innovative floating top functionality that gives the surgical team precise control for movement. Due to options for controlling motion and radiolucency, the Clarity 3008 can be used for various specialties and case types, including vascular, orthopedic, and other imaging procedures.
Although many options exist for premium operating tables, with Meditek’s Ultimate Guide you can easily narrow down the tables that match your surgical needs. By focusing on the type of surgery, weight capacity of the table, patient positioning, motorized control, imaging needs, and materials used in manufacturing, you will be able to strategically select the best surgical table for your OR.
With our experience of serving the medical industry since 1981, our experts at Meditek are well-positioned to recommend top surgical tables for various specialties.
Are you looking for expert advice or consultancy regarding surgical table acquisition? Meditek is an innovative equipment distributor and trusted solutions provider, and we are very focused on the needs of our customers. For expert advice, talk to our team of product specialists at Meditek today.