Arif Selçuk1, Mehmet Emir Erol2, Sertan Özyalçın2

1Clinic of Pediatric Cardiovascular Surgery, Gaziantep Cengiz Gökçek Gynecology and Pediatrics Diseases Hospital, Gaziantep, Turkey
2Clinic of Cardiovascular Surgery, Hitit University Erol Olçok Training and Research Hospital, Çorum, Turkey

Keywords: Pneumoperitoneum; minimally invasive surgical procedures; perioperative care


The aim of this study is to present a percutaneous treatment option for a patient with massive pneumoperitoneum following intubation after coronary artery bypass surgery. After coronary artery bypass surgery, a 74-year-old woman had prolonged endotracheal intubation due to hypoxia associated with pneumonia. On postoperative day seven, she was reintubated with inadequate ventilation leading to hypercapnia due to blockage of the endotracheal tube. Shortly after intubation, the patient was hypotensive, tachycardic, and hypoxic. The breath sound was absent on the right hemithorax, and the abdomen was distended. The chest x-ray showed a right-sided tension pneumothorax. A chest tube was placed on suction to the right hemithorax immediately. The computed tomography scan showed a massive pneumoperitoneum without free fluid in the abdomen. Air evacuation from the peritoneum was performed using a 7 French percutaneous venous catheter and 50 cc syringe. As a practical technique to see air bubbles puffing out from the peritoneal cavity, we connected the sterile water-filled syringe to the line upwards. After the air evacuation, the abdomen was softened and non-distended. Arterial blood gas sample and peak airway pressure became normal. To avoid unnecessary surgical procedures, we need to recognize whether pneumoperitoneum is surgical or not. In non-surgical pneumoperitoneum, the less invasive air evacuation techniques may be faster, more practical, and as effective as placing an intraperitoneal tube or laparoscopy. The percutaneous drainage techniques should be tried as a first-line treatment in pneumoperitoneum without symptoms and signs of peritonitis.

Peer Review

Externally peer-reviewed.

Author Contributions

Concept/Design - MEE; Analysis/Interpretation - MEE; Data Collection - SÖ; Writing - AS; Critical Revision - AS; Final Approval - SÖ; Overall Responsibility - AS.

Conflict of Interest

All authors declare that they do not have conflict of interest.

Financial Disclosure

The authors declared that this study has received no financial support.