Pneumoperitoneum in veterinary laparoscopy: A review

Jacqueline Scott, Ameet Singh, Alexander Valverde

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To review the effects of carbon dioxide pneumoperitoneum during laparoscopy, evaluate alternative techniques to establishing a working space and compare this to current recommendations in veterinary surgery. Study Design: Literature review. Sample Population: 92 peerreviewed articles. Methods: An electronic database search identified human and veterinary literature on the effects of pneumoperitoneum (carbon dioxide insufflation for laparoscopy) and alternatives with a focus on adaptation to the veterinary field. Results: Laparoscopy is the preferred surgical approach for many human and several veterinary procedures due to the lower morbidity associated with minimally invasive surgery, compared to laparotomy. The establishment of a pneumoperitoneum with a gas most commonly facilitates a working space. Carbon dioxide is the preferred gas for insufflation as it is inert, inexpensive, noncombustible, colorless, excreted by the lungs and highly soluble in water. Detrimental side effects such as acidosis, hypercapnia, reduction in cardiac output, decreased pulmonary compliance, hypothermia and post-operative pain have been associated with a pneumoperitoneum established with CO2 insufflation. As such alternatives have been suggested such as helium, nitrous oxide, warmed and humidified carbon dioxide and gasless laparoscopy. None of these alternatives have found a consistent benefit over standard carbon dioxide insufflation. Conclusions: The physiologic alterations seen with CO2 insufflation at the current recommended intra-abdominal pressures are mild and of transient duration. Clinical Significance: The current recommendations in veterinary laparoscopy for a pneumoperitoneum using carbon dioxide appear to be safe and effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number64
JournalVeterinary Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • Capnoperitoneum
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Insufflation
  • Laparoscopy
  • Pneumoperitoneum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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