Status of Surgical Smoke: Risks, Remediation and Regulation

Each year, an estimated 500,000 healthcare workers –including surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists and surgical technologists –are exposed to harmful surgical smoke, with potentially quite serious repercussions. More than 150 different chemical constituents have been identified in surgical smoke, some with the capacity for causing human cell damage, cancer and infectious disease. read more

Dissemination of Melanoma Cells within Electrocautery Plume

Results of this study demonstrate that aerosolization of malignant cells occurs as a result of application of electrocautery to malignant tissues. These findings lend support to the hypothesis that the higher the incidence of port site recurrence of laparoscopic surgery for malignant disease may be due to implantation of cells in suspension within the electrocautery plume. read more

HPV Positive Tonsillar Cancer in Two Laser Surgeons: Case Reports

Carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers are commonly used to excise lesions on the larynx, cervix, lower genital tract, and perianal regions. Tissue destruction from the laser's energy produces a gaseous plume containing cell contents and other aerosols. Many potential risks have been associated with laser plume exposure including the risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) transmission; in vitro experiments have reported HPV transmission through laser plumes. This case report describes, to the author's knowledge, the first cases of HPV-16 positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas in two surgeons following long-term occupational laser plume exposure. read more

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