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Background: The use of less invasive surfactant administration (LISA)/minimally invasive surfactant therapy (MIST) has increased due to its potential advantage over traditional surfactant delivery methods through an endotracheal tube. Known complications for this procedure include failure of the first attempt at insertion, desaturation, and bradycardia. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case of pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema following LISA. Case presentation: A preterm newborn born at 27 weeks of gestation presented with respiratory distress syndrome requiring surfactant replacement. LISA using the Hobart method was completed. There was a report of procedural difficulty related to increased resistance to insertion of the 16G angiocath. The newborn was subsequently noted to have subcutaneous emphysema over the anterior aspect of the neck and substantial pneumomediastinum on radiological assessment. Associated complications included hypotension requiring inotropic support. The newborn was successfully managed conservatively, with complete resolution of the air leak. Conclusions: Upper airway injury leading to air leak syndrome is a rare complication of the Hobart method for LISA. Awareness of such procedural complications is important as the use of the LISA method increases.