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CASE REPORT
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 262-265

Carbon dioxide embolism during laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy


1 Department of Anaesthesia and ICU, Al Salam International Hospital, Kuwait
2 Department of Anaesthesia and SICU, Changi General Hospital, Singapore
3 Department of General, Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery, Amiri Hospital, Kuwait

Correspondence Address:
Kalindi DeSousa
B-8, Ashoka, 3, Naylor Road, Pune, India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-9185.81840

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Bariatric restrictive and malabsorptive operations are being carried out in most countries laparoscopically. Carbon dioxide or gas embolism has never been reported in obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery. We report a case of carbon dioxide embolism during laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) in a young super obese female patient. Early diagnosis and successful management of this complication are discussed. An 18-year-old super obese female patient with enlarged fatty liver underwent LSG under general anesthesia. During initial intra-peritoneal insufflation with CO 2 at high flows through upper left quadrant of the abdomen, she had precipitous fall of end-tidal CO 2 and SaO 2 % accompanied with tachycardia. Early suspicion led to stoppage of further insufflation. Clinical parameters were stabilized after almost 30 min, while the blood gas analysis was restored to normal levels after 1 h. The area of gas entrainment on the damaged liver was recognized by the surgeon and sealed and the surgery was successfully carried out uneventfully. Like any other laparoscopic surgery, carbon dioxide embolism can occur during bariatric laparoscopic surgery also. Caution should be exercised when Veress needle is inserted through upper left quadrant of the abdomen in patients with enlarged liver. A high degree of suspicion and prompt collaboration between the surgeon and anesthetist can lead to complete recovery from this potentially fatal complication.


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