Characterization of surgical smoke from various tissues

A research paper by Markus Karjalainen on the particular matter (PM) deposition of surgical smoke and its implications for occupational health was published in PloS One!

Surgical smoke is produced by electrosurgery and different tissues produce different quantities and types of smoke. Particle characteristics of surgical smoke was studied in order to analyze the implications for the occupational health of the operation room personnel.

Different porcine tissues were cut with a electrosurgical knife controlled by a computer-controlled platform. The used tissues were clinically relevant: bronchus, cerebral gray and white matter, liver, lung, renal cortex and pelvis, skeletal muscle, skin and subcutaneous fat. The produced particles were analyzed with an electrical low pressure impactor, showing diameters between 7 nm and 10 μm. The size distributions and mass concentrations varied significantly between tissue types, and liver yielded the highest number of particles.

The study proposes dividing the tissues into three classes to better estimate their health hazards: 1) high-PM tissue for liver; 2) medium-PM tissues for renal cortex, renal pelvis, and skeletal muscle; and 3) low-PM tissues for skin, gray matter, white matter, bronchus, and subcutaneous fat.

You can read the full article here: PubMed