Laparoscopic splenectomy using Ligasure. Preliminary experience

Surg Endosc. 2002 Nov;16(11):1608-11. doi: 10.1007/s00464-001-9145-z. Epub 2002 May 3.


Background: Intraoperative bleeding is the main complication and main cause of conversion during laparoscopic splenectomy (LS). We present the advantages of the use of the Ligasure Vessel Sealing System added to lateral approach for achieving a safe vascular control.

Methods: Ligasure is an energy-based device which works applying a precise amount of bipolar energy and pressure to the tissue, achieving a permanent seal. We have performed a total of 35 LS in a 5-year period using different approaches and methods of dissection, including the anterior approach, monopolar coagulation, clips, endostaplers, and ultrasonic shears. In the last 10 patients (4 males and 6 females, mean age 24 yr) we employed a technique with 4 trocars, right semilateral position associated with the entire dissection of the spleen and vessels sealing (lower pole vessels, main vascular pedicles, short gastric vessels) performed with Ligasure. Six had thrombocytopenic idiopatic purpura (ITP), 2 hereditary spherocytosis and one each b-thalassemia and hemolytic anemia.

Results: Nine LS were completed with one (10%) conversion because of hilar bleeding due to accidental injury with Ligasure. The average splenic weight was 485 g (range 265-1800), with an average diameter of 16 cm (range 12-25). In all but one patients (the converted one) the intraoperative blood loss was less than 100 mL (range 50-100 mL, average 80 mL). No blood transfusion were needed. The average operative time was 120 min (range 90-165), including 2 patients undergoing combined laparoscopic cholecystectomy. There was no mortality, with one (10%) postoperative complication (thrombosis of the spleno-portal axis), treated with a conservative approach. The average postoperative hospital stay was 3.5 days (range 3-6).

Conclusions: The use of Ligasure, associated with the lateral position, results in a gain of time and safety. Furthermore, the average intraoperative bleeding of this series is very low.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Hemolytic / surgery
  • Female
  • Hemostasis, Surgical / methods*
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Ligation / methods
  • Male
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / surgery
  • Spherocytosis, Hereditary / surgery
  • Splenectomy / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonics
  • beta-Thalassemia / surgery