Massive Carbon Dioxide Embolism During Laparoscopic Liver Resection: A Case Report.

Research paper by Alessandro A De Cassai, Riccardo R Boetto, Giulia G Gabellini, Umberto U Cillo

Indexed on: 10 Dec '20Published on: 14 Sep '19Published in: Cureus


Carbon dioxide embolism during laparoscopic surgery is a serious and life-threatening complication. The overall incidence of embolism during laparoscopic surgery is low (0.15%). Although the potential fatal consequences of this complication are reported in literature, a well-documented report of the effect of massive CO2 embolism during laparoscopic liver resection on cardiovascular, respiratory and encephalographic parameters does not exist. The authors describe a well-documented case of massive carbon dioxide embolism during laparoscopic liver resection suspected by both hemodynamic instability and elevation of EtCO2 and confirmed by arterial blood gas. The surgeon's rapid closure of the vascular breach resulted in an overall improvement of the patient's vital signs without further consequences. Our case report shows the cardiovascular, respiratory and encephalographic effects of a massive carbon dioxide embolism and highlights the importance of a strict cooperation between the surgeon and the anesthesiologist and the importance for a prompt treatment when massive carbon dioxide embolism occurs.