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Medical carbon dioxide has various medical applications. It can be used as an insufflation gas for minimally invasive surgery (laparoscopy, endoscopy, and arthroscopy) to enlarge and stabilise 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 transient respiratory stimulation and encouragement of deep breathing and coughing to prevent or treat atelectasis.