Medical carbon dioxide has various medical purposes. It can be used as an insufflation gas for minimal invasive surgery (laparoscopy, endoscopy, and arthroscopy) to enlarge and stabilize body cavities for better visibility of the surgical field. Also, in its liquid phase, it can be used to provide temperatures down to -76° C, for cryotherapy or for local analgesia by external application onto the skin surface.
Other medical applications include:
to rapidly increase depth of anaesthesia when volatile agents are being administered. It increases depth of respiration and helps to overcome breath-holding and bronchial spasm.
to facilitate blind intubation in anaesthetic practice.
to facilitate vasodilatation, lessening the degree of metabolic acidosis during the induction of hypothermia.
to increase cerebral blood flow in arteriosclerotic patients undergoing surgery.
to stimulate respiration after a period of apnea.
in chronic respiratory obstruction after it has been relieved.
to prevent hypocapnia during hyperventilation.
for clinical and physiological investigations.
in gynaecological investigation for insufflation into fallopian tubes and abdominal cavities.
as solid carbon dioxide - or dry ice - (WET cylinders) in tissue freezing techniques and for destroying warts by freezing.