Applied Physics B

, Volume 109, Issue 3, pp 485–496

Chemical analysis of surgical smoke by infrared laser spectroscopy


DOI: 10.1007/s00340-012-4920-1

Cite this article as:
Gianella, M. & Sigrist, M.W. Appl. Phys. B (2012) 109: 485. doi:10.1007/s00340-012-4920-1


The chemical composition of surgical smoke, a gaseous by-product of some surgical devices—lasers, drills, vessel sealing devices—is of great interest due to the many toxic components that have been found to date. For the first time, surgical smoke samples collected during routine keyhole surgery were analyzed with infrared laser spectroscopy. Traces (ppm range) of methane, ethane, ethylene, carbon monoxide and sevoflurane were detected in the samples which consisted mostly of carbon dioxide and water vapor. Except for the anaesthetic sevoflurane, none of the compounds were present at dangerous concentrations. Negative effects on the health of operation room personnel can be excluded for many toxic compounds found in earlier studies, since their concentrations are below recommended exposure limits.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Quantum Electronics, Laser Spectroscopy and Sensing LabETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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