Iatrogenic surgical microscope skin burns: A systematic review of the literature and case report

Joseph Lopez, Ashwin Soni, Daniel Calva, Srinivas M. Susarla, George Jallo, Richard Redett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Cutaneous burns associated with microscope-use are perceived to be uncommon adverse events in microsurgery. Currently, it is unknown what factors are associated with these iatrogenic events. In this report, we describe the case of a 1-year-old patient who suffered a full thickness skin burn from a surgical microscope after a L4-S1 laminectomy. Additionally, we present a systematic review of the literature that assessed the preoperative risk, outcome, and management of iatrogenic microscope skin burns. Lastly, a summary of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience (MAUDE) database of voluntary adverse events was reviewed and analyzed for clinical cases of microscope thermal injuries. The systematic literature review identified only seven articles related to microsurgery-related cutaneous burns. From these seven studies, 15 clinical cases of iatrogenic skin burns were extracted for analysis. The systematic review of the FDA MAUDE database revealed only 60 cases of cutaneous burns associated with surgical microscopes since 2004. Few cases of microscope burns have been described in the literature; this report is, to our knowledge, one of the first comprehensive reports of this iatrogenic event in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2015



  • Iatrogenic burn
  • Microscope burns
  • Microsurgery
  • Surgical burns
  • Thermal injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery

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