Laparoscopic surgery for splenic disorders
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- Trias, M., Targarona, E., Espert, J. et al. Surg Endosc (1998) 12: 66. doi:10.1007/s004649900597
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Laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) has recently been gaining acceptance as an alternative to open splenectomy. However, several aspects, such as learning curve, residual splenic function, and management of large spleens, remain controversial. In this paper we present the analysis of technical details and immediate and late outcome of a consecutive series of 64 cases of splenic disorders approached by laparoscopy. Between Feb-1993 and April-1997, 64 patients with a wide range of splenic disorders were treated by laparoscopy, and prospectively recorded. Age, body mass index, operative time, number of trocars, perioperative transfusion, spleen weight, conversion rate, mode of spleen retrieval (bag or accessory incision), postoperative analgesia, stay and morbidity were analyzed. Late failures after LS were reevaluated with 99mTc-heat-damaged red blood cells scintigraphy and CT. LS was performed in 61 patients, and two cases with splenic cyst and one splenic artery aneurysm received a laparoscopic partial cystectomy and aneurysmectomy. LS was performed through an anterior approach in 12 patients and laterally in 49. Conversion rate was 6.5%. Accessory spleens were found in 7 patients (7/61, 11.5%). Morbidity was 16%. There was no correlation between the weight of the spleen, platelet count or obesity with operative time. A lateral approach was associated with a decrease in operative time (p < 0.002), postoperative stay (p < 0.001), transfusion (p < 0.04) and number of trocars (p < 0.001). Operative time was significantly longer in large spleens (>1000 gr) (p < 0.001). However, there were no differences in transfusion rate, stay, morbidity or conversion rate. After a follow up of 12 m, 10 patients revealed a low platelet count. Scintigraphy showed residual splenic tissue in 3 (ITP). A wide range of splenic disorders can be treated by laparoscopy, including enlarged spleens. This technique should be continually audited, but initial results reflect the approach's safety and advantages provided that great technical care is taken and an exhaustive search for accessory spleens is conducted.