Chemical analysis of surgical smoke by infrared laser spectroscopy

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgements

We thank D. Hahnloser, University Hospital Zurich, for the fruitful collaboration. We also thank Nanoplus GmbH for providing the laser diode for the carbon monoxide measurements. Financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and ETH Zurich is gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to Markus W. Sigrist.

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Gianella, M., Sigrist, M.W. Chemical analysis of surgical smoke by infrared laser spectroscopy. Appl. Phys. B 109, 485–496 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00340-012-4920-1

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Keywords

  • Sevoflurane
  • Hydrogen Fluoride
  • Periodically Pole Lithium Niobate
  • Difference Frequency Generation
  • Hydrogen Fluoride