Intraoperative Carbon Dioxide Embolism on Abdominal Insufflation

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



A 68yo female with renal cell carcinoma presented for robotic nephrectomy. Upon abdominal insufflation the patient acutely decompensated with rapid drop in ETCO2. Insufflation was halted, patient was stabilized, and the case was aborted. Patient was extubated and taken to PACU in stable condition. Workup included CT which was notable for gas within the right lobe of the liver, likely due to Veress needle entry into liver. Will discuss air embolism as an uncommon complication of abdominal insufflation and the importance of prompt recognition and treatment. Will additionally examine an approach to postoperative workup following this type of acute intraoperative event.


American Society of Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting, October 12-16, 2023, San Francisco, CA