FIGURE 1: Example Surgical Plume Evacuation Procedures*

(Connected to: Understanding and Controlling the Hazards of Surgical Smoke)

For surgical procedures that generate small amounts of plume:


1. 0.1 μm in-line filter will be positioned between the wall suction and the suction canister.


2. In-line filters will be changed weekly in every area that generates plume.


3. A suction tubing no longer than 12 feet in length will be used with a suction tip or attached to the ESU.


4. Contaminated filters and plume evacuation supplies will be disposed of by personnel using personal protective equipment.

A. Examples of procedures that generate small amounts plume:
  • Temporal Artery Biopsy
  • Hand Procedures
  • Vocal Cord polyps
  • Tonsillectomies
  • Laparoscopies
  • Ear Procedures
  • Dermatological Procedures
  • Nasal Procedures
  • Thorascopy
  • Back Procedures
  • Craniotomies
  • Breast Biopsies


Surgical procedures that generate greater amounts of smoke, a smoke evacuation system with an evacuation hose will be used:


1. Corrugated smoke evacuation tubing with a smooth inner lumen will be connected directly to the smoke evacuator and used when evacuating large amounts of plume.


2. The standard suction tubing will be used to evacuate fluid and the corrugated tubing will be used to evacuate surgical plume.


3. The plume capture devices will be positioned in close proximity to the generation of the surgical plume.

A. Examples of procedures which require a smoke evacuator with an evacuation hose:

  • Abdominal Surgical Procedures
  • Breast Reduction Procedures
  • Large Extremity Procedures
  • Vaporization of Condyloma
  • Thoracic Procedures
  • Excisional Neck
  • Procedures
  • Spinal Fusions


*Reprinted with permission from Vangie Dennis, RN; Gwinnett Medical Center; Lawrenceville, GA.

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