Risks associated with exposure to surgical smoke plume: a review of the literature

AORN J. 2007 Dec;86(6):1013-20; quiz 1021-4. doi: 10.1016/j.aorn.2007.07.005.


Electrosurgery, laser ablation, and ultrasonic scalpel dissection create a gaseous by-product commonly referred to as surgical smoke or plume. Smoke evacuation devices have been shown to be effective in limiting exposure to the noxious odor and potential health hazards of smoke and plume; however, these devices have not been used routinely and consistently in many ORs. This article reviews five quantitative research studies that explore the characteristics of smoke plume produced during surgery and presents the evidence of the need for consistent use of smoke evacuation systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / adverse effects*
  • Animals
  • Electrosurgery
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Occupational Exposure / prevention & control
  • Operating Rooms*
  • Personnel, Hospital*
  • Smoke / adverse effects*
  • Smoke / prevention & control
  • Ultrasonic Therapy
  • Ventilation


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Smoke