JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

The risk of COVID-19 transmission by laparoscopic smoke may be lower than for laparotomy: a narrative review

Yoav Mintz, Alberto Arezzo, Luigi Boni, Ludovica Baldari, Elisa Cassinotti, Ronit Brodie, Selman Uranues, MinHua Zheng, Abe Fingerhut
Surgical Endoscopy 2020 May 26
32458289

BACKGROUND: Surgical smoke is a well-recognized hazard in the operating room. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, surgical societies quickly published guidelines recommending avoiding laparoscopy or to consider open surgery because of the fear of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through surgical smoke or aerosol. This narrative review of the literature aimed to determine whether there are any differences in the creation of surgical smoke/aerosol between laparoscopy and laparotomy and if laparoscopy may be safer than laparotomy.

METHODS: A literature search was performed using the Pubmed, Embase and Google scholar search engines, as well as manual search of the major journals with specific COVID-19 sections for ahead-of-print publications.

RESULTS: Of 1098 identified articles, we critically appraised 50. Surgical smoke created by electrosurgical and ultrasonic devices has the same composition both in laparoscopy and laparotomy. SARS-CoV-2 has never been found in surgical smoke and there is currently no data to support its virulence if ever it could be transmitted through surgical smoke/aerosol.

CONCLUSION: If laparoscopy is performed in a closed cavity enabling containment of surgical smoke/aerosol, and proper evacuation of smoke with simple measures is respected, and as long as laparoscopy is not contraindicated, we believe that this surgical approach may be safer for the operating team while the patient has the benefits of minimally invasive surgery. Evidence-based research in this field is needed for definitive determination of safety.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
32458289
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"