A four-year experience with splenectomy versus splenorrhaphy

Ann Surg. 1985 May;201(5):568-75. doi: 10.1097/00000658-198505000-00005.


From 1980 to 1984, 326 patients requiring splenectomy or splenorrhaphy were treated at one urban trauma center. Splenic injuries were graded in severity from one to five at the time of celiotomy. Splenorrhaphy was attempted in all patients, except when the spleen was shattered or avulsed or when multiple injuries were present. The mechanisms of injury were: penetrating wounds in 51.2%, blunt trauma in 46%, and iatrogenic mishaps in 2.8% of patients. Grade 1 or 2 injuries were present in 23.9%, Grade 3, 4, or 5 injuries were present in 59.8%. Spleens removed or repaired with unknown grading or removed as part of distal pancreatectomies accounted for 16.3% of patients. Excluding uninjured spleens removed with pancreatectomies, 55.4% (169) of injured spleens required splenectomy and 44.6% (136) had a splenorrhaphy performed. Splenorrhaphy was most commonly performed with chronic suture with or without the addition of topical agents. Grade 1 and 2 injuries were repaired in 88.5%; Grade 3 injuries were repaired in 61.5%; and Grade 4 and 5 injuries were repaired in 7.7% of patients. Splenectomy is generally performed in patients with multiple associated intraabdominal injuries and the more severe grades of splenic injury, and has a mortality rate 13.5 times as great as that for patients undergoing splenorrhaphy. Splenorrhaphy can be performed in approximately 50% of patients with injured spleens and has practically no risk of rebleeding.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / etiology
  • Adult
  • Blood Coagulation Disorders / etiology
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pancreatectomy / adverse effects
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Reoperation
  • Spleen / injuries*
  • Spleen / surgery
  • Splenectomy* / adverse effects
  • Splenectomy* / methods
  • Suture Techniques
  • Wounds, Nonpenetrating / surgery
  • Wounds, Penetrating / surgery