Background. During the COVID-19 pandemic the question arises if laparoscopy, as an aerosol forming procedure, poses a potential risk for viral transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to healthcare workers. Methods. A literature search was conducted using PubMed, Embase and MEDLINE. Articles reporting information regarding COVID-19 or other relevant viruses and laparoscopy, surgical smoke, aerosols and viral transmission were included. Results. Although aerosols produced during laparoscopy do not originate from the respiratory tract, the main transmission route of SARS-CoV-2, research did show SARS-CoV-2 to be present in other body fluids. The transmission risk via this route is however considered very low. As previous research showed potential viral transmission during laparoscopy for viruses that spread through contaminated body fluids, there might be a potential risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission during laparoscopy, albeit considered very small. Conclusion. Due to the small risk compared to widely known benefits of laparoscopy, there is no reason to replace laparoscopy by laparotomy due to COVID-19 infection. To avoid the potential small risk of viral transmission, additional safety measures are advised.
- health care worker
- surgical smoke