Smoke Evacuation in Dermatology: A National Cross-Sectional Analysis Examining the Behaviors and Perceptions of Dermatologists and Dermatologic Surgeons

Main Article Content

Perry Hooper
Samantha Holmes
Syril Keena T. Que


surgery, dermatology, general dermatology, surgical smoke, smoke evacuator, electrocautery, laser surgery


Background: Despite associated hazards of surgical smoke, there is limited data regarding smoke evacuation practices among dermatologists. Such information is especially relevant at this time as dermatologic procedures often involve exposure to aerosolized particles and known carcinogens.

Objective: To examine the barriers underlying historically low utilization of smoke protection among dermatologists

Methods: A survey was sent to dermatologists through the Association of Professors of Dermatology (APD) list-serv and a cross-sectional analysis of responses was performed.

Results: A total of 85 dermatologists responded. Twenty-four (28.2%) reported use of smoke evacuators during > 50% of dermatologic procedures. The odds of using smoke evacuation was 2.8 times higher in dermatologists with 10 or more years of experience (95% CI, 1.1-7.5; p=0.0358). The most commonly reported barriers to smoke evacuation were limited staffing (63.5%) and set-up time (61.2%). Sixty-seven (78.8%) respondents reported that a hands-free evacuator could potentially increase the use of smoke evacuation in their practices.

Limitations: Survey sent on academic listserv with relatively small sample size and limited generalizability.

Conclusions: Smoke evacuation remains low among dermatologists despite the risks. Identifying reasons for low utilization and receptiveness to potential solutions is necessary to improve safety practices relating to smoke evacuation.


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