Escape of surgical smoke particles, comparing conventional and valveless trocar systems

Daniel Robertson*, Frank Sterke, Willem van Weteringen, Alberto Arezzo, Yoav Mintz, Tim Horeman, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Background: During minimal access surgery, surgical smoke is produced which can potentially be inhaled by the surgical team, leading to several health risks. This smoke can escape from the abdominal cavity into the operating room due to trocar leakage. The trocars and insufflator that are used during surgery influence gas leakage. Therefore, this study compares particle escape from a valveless (Conmed AirSeal iFS), and a conventional (Karl Storz Endoflator) system. Materials and methods: Using an in vitro model, a conventional and a valveless trocar system were compared. A protocol that simulated various surgical phases was defined to assess the surgical conditions and particle leakage. Insufflation pressures and instrument diameters were varied as these are known to affect gas leakage. Results: The conventional trocar leaked during two distinct phases. Removal of the obturator caused a sudden release of particles. During instrument insertion, an average of 211 (IQR 111) particles per second escaped when using the 5 mm diameter instrument. With the 10 mm instrument, 50 (IQR 13) particles per second were measured. With the conventional trocar, a higher abdominal pressure increased particle leakage. The valveless trocar demonstrated a continuously high particle release during all phases. After the obturator was removed, particle escape increased sharply. Particle escape decreased to 1276 (IQR 580) particles per second for the 5 mm instrument insertion, and 1084 (IQR 630) particles per second for 10 mm instrument insertion. With the valveless trocar system, a higher insufflation pressure lowered particle escape. Conclusions: This study shows that a valveless trocar system releases more particles into the operating room environment than a conventional trocar. During instrument insertion, the leakage through the valveless system is 6 to 20 times higher than the conventional system. With a valveless trocar, leakage decreases with increasing pressure. With both trocar types leakage depends on instrument diameter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8552-8561
JournalSurgical Endoscopy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Insufflation pressure
  • Laparoscopy
  • Surgical smoke
  • Valveless insufflation


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