Impact of Smoke Evacuation on Patient Experience During Mohs Surgery

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

There have been several investigations into possible health risks of surgical smoke exposure, and it has previously been associated with harboring pathogens and carcinogens. Patients in the authors' practice have expressed that the odor from the smoke created by electrosurgical equipment is unpleasant.

OBJECTIVE

The authors sought to determine if smoke evacuation decreases patient perception of smoke created by electrosurgery during Mohs surgery and if it subsequently improves patient satisfaction with their surgical experience by minimizing the associated odor.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Thirty patients were enrolled in this comparative trial. Smoke evacuation was used during closure but not during Mohs stages. Patients were queried regarding their experience and preferences during and at the end of the procedure.

RESULTS

100% of patients reported the perception of a burning odor during removal of Mohs stages, compared with 40% reporting the perception of a burning odor during closure. During the Mohs stages, 66.6% of patients reported the odor as unpleasant compared with 16.6% of patients during closure. There were no statistically significant differences in patient perceptions when stratified by age, sex, or surgical site.

CONCLUSION

The authors believe that using a wall suction smoke evacuation system is simple and can result in a more pleasant experience for patients undergoing Mohs surgery.

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