In 1977, a team of engineers working in San Fernando, California, developed a set of three powered surgical instruments that could be used by orthopaedic surgeons to operate on bones and joints. The instruments – a drill, an oscillating saw and a reciprocating saw – were made with miniature vane motors, and powered by compressed air found in most hospital operating rooms.
The instruments were about the length of a typical pencil and the diameter of a penny, and were operated by a fingertip lever. They quickly won praise from surgeons who valued the precise control, unobstructed vision, high degree of torque and smooth running without vibration.
Shortly after the success of these first three instruments, two more instruments were introduced. A wire-driver, used to secure bone sections with stainless steel wire, and a bone chisel. These were similar in size and shape to the first instruments, they functioned in the same way, and once again the community of orthopaedic surgeons embraced the new tools and the reliability of the company behind these innovations.
With this early success, the company became a member of the Marmon Group In 1979, and was named MicroAire Surgical Instruments. Two years later, MicroAire introduced the industry’s first line of pre-sterilized, packaged, disposable burs, blades and drills for its instruments. Through the mid-1990s, the company continued to produce new and innovative products, and saw its sales expand into the global marketplace. MicroAire’s brand became synonymous with quality innovation, unsurpassed performance and outstanding customer service.
In 1995, MicroAire relocated to its current home in Charlottesville, Virginia. From this new location, MicroAire launched a new line of small-power orthopedic surgical instruments powered by a separate microprocessor console controlling the rpm, torque limits, hand piece recognition and irrigation system.
MicroAire continued its growth in 1998 by acquiring a ground-breaking, minimally invasive instrument for endoscopic treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome. The company also introduced the first pneumatic-powered instrument made especially for plastic surgery lipoplasty. This new instrument, the PAL LipoSculptor, is now the number-one, power-assisted lipoplasty device in the world.
In 2002, MicroAire became part of a family of medical companies under Colson Associates, Inc. MicroAire continued its growth and innovation with the introduction of the industry’s first Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery-operated instruments. MicroAire’s NiMH batteries are the longest lasting, most powerful and best-warranted battery on the market.
In 2010, MicroAire acquired the Endotine brand, which represents a patented system that allows surgeons to attach soft tissue to bone using tiny resorbable tines, thereby reducing the tissue strain associated with sutures. Endotine implants provide reliable fixation throughout the post-operative healing period, and eventually resorb as biological fixation takes over. Endotine is used in a variety of facial procedures, including brow lifts, midface lifts, face lifts and neck lifts.
MicroAire’s cost-containment pricing and quality craftsmanship have kept MicroAire positioned as a top manufacturer in the medical device industry for over three decades. MicroAire cherishes its reputation as a company whose performance is matched by its commitment to integrity and to continuously improving surgeon and patient outcomes.