Smoke Evacuation During Laparoscopic Surgery: A Problem Beyond the COVID-19 Period. A Quantitative Analysis of CO2 Environmental Dispersion Using Different Devices

Surg Innov. 2022 Apr;29(2):154-159. doi: 10.1177/15533506211014857. Epub 2021 May 7.


Background. The COVID-19 pandemic leads to several debates regarding the possible risk for healthcare professionals during surgery. SAGES and EAES raised the issue of the transmission of infection through the surgical smoke during laparoscopy. They recommended the use of smoke evacuation devices (SEDs) with CO2 filtering systems. The aim of the present study is to compare the efficacy of different SEDs evaluating the CO2 environmental dispersion in the operating theater. Methods. We prospectively evaluated the data of 4 group of patients on which we used different SEDs or standard trocars: AIRSEAL system (S1 group), a homemade device (S2 group), an AIRSEAL system + homemade device (S3 group), and with standard trocars and without SED (S4 group). Quantitative analysis of CO2 environmental dispersion was carried out associated to the following data in order to evaluate the pneumoperitoneum variations: a preset insufflation pressure, real intraoperative pneumoperitoneum pressure, operative time, total volume of insufflated CO2, and flow rate index. Results. 16 patients were prospectively enrolled. The [CO2] mean value was 711 ppm, 641 ppm, 593 ppm, and 761 ppm in S1, S2, S3, and S4 groups, respectively. The comparison between data of all groups showed statistically significant differences in the measured ambient CO2 concentration. Conclusion. All tested SEDs seem to be useful to reduce the CO2 environmental dispersion respect to the use of standard trocars. The association of AIRSEAL system and a homemade device seems to be the best solution combining an adequate smoke evacuation and a stable pneumoperitoneum during laparoscopic surgery.

Keywords: CO2; COVID-19; SARS-COV-2; laparoscopic surgery; smoke evacuation device.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy* / methods
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumoperitoneum*
  • Pneumoperitoneum, Artificial
  • Smoke / adverse effects


  • Smoke
  • Carbon Dioxide