Emergency laparoscopic splenectomy for "wandering" (pelvic) spleen: case report and review of the literature on laparoscopic approach to splenic diseases.

A. Benevento, L. Boni, G. Dionigi, A. Ferrari, R. Dionigi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Wandering spleen (WS) is a rare condition where the spleen, free from its ligaments, is allowed to move inside the abdomen predisposing the patient to life-threatening complications due to torsion of the vascular pedicle; splenic infarction, portal hypertension, bleeding and acute abdomen may occur. WS is rarely suspected at presentation since symptoms are usually not specific and definitive diagnosis is usually reached only by imaging technologies such as color flow ultrasonography and angio-spiral computer tomography. A 42-year-old woman was referred to our institute from the Emergency and Accident ward, complaining of a sudden onset of sharp abdominal pain together with nausea and vomiting. At examination a large, painful mass was present on the left middle-lower abdominal quadrant. A pelvic spleen was revealed at abdominal ultrasonography (US) and confirmed by abdominal CT. Emergency laparoscopy was carried out. The spleen was barely attached to the peritoneum of the anterior abdominal wall, covered by the greater omentum, the small bowel, and the transverse colon. Once mobilization of the spleen was concluded, the vascular pedicle appeared torted and thrombosed and laparoscopic splenectomy was performed. The patient was discharged on the 4th postoperative day with no complications. To date, only 5 cases of laparoscopic approach to WS have been reported. A review of the literature confirms that the reduction of postoperative stay, wound complications, and overall morbidity and a faster return to normal activity make laparoscopy the "gold standard" approach to the spleen as for treatment of many hematological disorders or more unusual splenic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1364-1365
Number of pages2
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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