Perioperative subcutaneous emphysema: review of differential diagnosis, complications, management, and anesthetic implications

J Clin Anesth. 1989;1(6):457-9. doi: 10.1016/0952-8180(89)90011-1.


Subcutaneous emphysema is not an uncommon anesthetic complication, but it often occurs unexpectedly. It is usually self-limited, but mediastinitis can occur with mortality as high as 50%. A case of subcutaneous emphysema occurring during dental surgery is reported here. The diagnosis, management, complications, and pathogenesis are discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia / adverse effects*
  • Anesthesia, Dental / adverse effects
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Emphysema / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Subcutaneous Emphysema / complications
  • Subcutaneous Emphysema / etiology*
  • Subcutaneous Emphysema / therapy