Laparoscopic splenectomy: experience of a single center in a series of 300 cases

Surg Endosc. 2012 Oct;26(10):2870-6. doi: 10.1007/s00464-012-2272-x. Epub 2012 May 12.


Background: Laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) has gradually become the technique of choice for surgical removal of the spleen. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of LS in a large cohort of patients from a single center.

Methods: From March 1992 to June 2010, 300 patients underwent LS at our hospital for predominantly hematologic disorders. The first 92 cases were performed using an anterior approach, whereas in the remaining 208 cases a lateral approach with a four-trocar technique was used. Patient demographics, diagnosis, and outcomes were reviewed.

Results: Spleen volume was similar between the anterior (350 ml) and the lateral (370 ml) approaches. The lateral approach was associated with shorter operative time (60 vs. 80 min), less blood loss (30 vs. 110 ml), and no conversion (0 vs. 2.2 %) compared to the anterior approach. Reoperations were required in three patients (1.0 %) because of bleeding, subphrenic abscess, and intestinal ischemia. Postoperative complications were significantly fewer for the lateral (4.8 %) than for the anterior (31.5 %) approach and the hospital stay was shorter (3.1 vs. 5.2 days) and there was less postoperative pain. Splenectomy for hematologic malignancies resulted in a higher morbidity rate, more postoperative pain, and longer hospital stay. Overall mortality rate was 0.3 %. No late complications were observed during the 1-5-year follow-up.

Conclusions: LS using the lateral approach with the placement of four trocars can be considered the procedure of choice for both benign and malignant diseases affecting the spleen. Extensive experience and technical standardization help to avoid surgical pitfalls, providing an adequate control of hemostasis, the excision of accessory spleens (AS), and the avoidance of parenchymal rupture.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / methods*
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Splenectomy / methods*
  • Splenectomy / mortality
  • Splenectomy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Splenic Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Splenic Diseases / surgery
  • Survival Rate
  • Ultrasonography
  • Young Adult