Intraspinal oxidised cellulose (Surgicel) causing delayed paraplegia after thoracotomy--a report of three cases

Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2002 Mar;84(2):97-9.


Oxidised regenerated cellulose (Surgicel) is a commonly used haemostatic agent in neurosurgery, thoracic surgery, and orthopaedics. We present three cases of paraplegia after thoracic surgery during which oxidised cellulose had been used during thoracotomy for haemorrhage control, and was later found to have passed through the intervertebral foramen causing spinal cord compression. In all intraspinal and perispinal procedures, the over-liberal use of Surgicel should be avoided, and attempts made to remove all excess Surgicel once adequate haemostasis is obtained.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cellulose, Oxidized / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / prevention & control
  • Hemostasis, Surgical / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Paraplegia / chemically induced*
  • Postoperative Complications / chemically induced*
  • Spinal Cord Compression / chemically induced*
  • Thoracotomy / adverse effects*


  • Cellulose, Oxidized
  • Surgicel