Laparoscopic Splenectomy in Patients with Normal-Sized Spleens Versus Splenomegaly: Does Size Matter?

Heniford, B. Todd; Park, Adrian; Walsh, R. Matthew; Kercher, Kent W.; Matthews, Brent D.; Frenette, Gary; Sing, Ronald F.
September 2001
American Surgeon;Sep2001, Vol. 67 Issue 9, p854
Academic Journal
Laparoscopic resection has become the standard means for removal of normal-sized spleens in many medical centers. The application of minimally invasive techniques in the setting of splenomegaly is less well defined and was previously considered a contraindication to the laparoscopic approach. The purpose of this prospective study of consecutive patients was to compare the outcomes of patients undergoing laparoscopic splenectomy for normal-sized spleens (150 g or less) versus those with clear evidence of splenomegaly (500 g or greater). One hundred forty-two patients met the inclusion criteria. The most common diagnosis in the normal-sized spleen group was idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (67 of 82, 82%). Malignant hematologic diseases (lymphoma and leukemia) were the most common diagnoses in the splenomegaly group (35 of 60, 58%). Mean operative times (127 vs 172 minutes) and estimated blood loss (123 vs 173 cm3) were lower for those patients with normal-sized spleens (P < 0.05). There were no statistical differences in conversion rates, lengths of stay, or complications between the two groups. We conclude that laparoscopic splenectomy is safe and effective in the setting of splenomegaly despite modest but statistically longer operative times and increased operative blood loss when compared with laparoscopic splenectomy for normal-sized spleens.


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