Laparoscopy and the Risk of Aerosolization

Presented by Dr. Shahzeer Karmali & Dr. Ashley Vergis
Recorded on: April 22, 2020

Session Description

In this webinar we will discuss emergent topics related to aerosol presence of the COVID-19 virus released during abdominal surgery.

Excerpt from ‘Statement from the CAGS MIS Committee re: Laparoscopy and the risk of aerosolization’:
There is no current data that demonstrates an aerosol presence of the COVID-19 virus released during abdominal surgery. The Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) recently referenced data based on detection of other viruses in surgical smoke. Given that there is no current data referencing the COVID-19 virus in this regard, it is the opinion of the Canadian Association of General Surgeons Minimally Invasive Surgery committee that it should be assumed that this virus shares these properties. Surgeons should therefor approach the risk of viral aerosolization with the release of pneumoperitoneum, and its attendant risk to surgical personnel, with significant caution.

Session Objectives

  • To discuss characteristics of SARS-CoV-2
  • To understand how SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted
  • To compare transmission of SARS-CoV-2 between open and laparoscopic surgery
  • To illustrate approaches to managing the pneumoperitoneum to prevent the spread of COVID-19

About the Presenters

Dr. Shahzeer Karmali completed his fellowship training in Bariatric Surgery at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He currently serves as an Associate Professor in Surgery at the University of Alberta and practicing Bariatric Surgeon at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. Current trials include prospective clinical trial assessing sleeve gastrectomy as a primary bariatric operation, use of StomaphyX in gastric pouch reduction and usage of the intragastric balloon in Severe Obesity. Interests include endoluminal approaches to bariatric surgery and aboriginal health.

Dr. Ashley Vergis completed his Doctor of Medicine (2002) and residency in general surgery (2008) at the University of Manitoba while concurrently earning a Masters of Medical Education through the University of Dundee, Scotland. He then completed a clinical fellowship in bariatric and minimally invasive surgery at the University of Toronto after obtaining his Canadian and American Board Certifications in general surgery. He currently is an Associate Professor of surgery at the University of Manitoba. He is also the minimally invasive and bariatric surgery fellowship program director, postgraduate surgical skills director, and the clinical lead for the provincial bariatric surgery program. His clinical and research interests focus on laparoscopic/bariatric surgery and surgical education.

This recording is intended for CAGS members only. 
Please do not share it with anyone outside of the CAGS membership without permission from CAGS.