Laparoscopic splenectomy: A single center experience. Unusual cases and expanded inclusion criteria for laparoscopic approach

Gianpaolo Marte, Vincenzo Scuderi, Aldo Rocca, Giuseppe Surfaro, Carla Migliaccio, Antonio Ceriello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) is nowadays considered as the gold standard for most hematological diseases where splenectomy is necessary, but many questions still remain. The aim of this study was to analyze our 5-years experiences consisting of 48 consecutive LS cases in order to assess the optimal approach and the feasibility of the procedure also in malignant diseases and unusual cases such as a primary spleen lymphoma, a big splenic artery aneurism, or a spleen infarct due to a huge pancreatic pseudo-cyst. Forty-eight consecutive patients underwent LS from January 2006 to January 2011 with at least 1-year follow-up. Clinical data and immediate outcome were retrospectively recorded; age, diagnosis, operation time, perioperative transfusion requirement, conversion rate, accessory incision, hospital stay, and complications were analyzed. We had 14 cases of malignant splenic disease, the most frequent malignant diagnosis was non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (12/14, 85.7 %). Splenomegaly (interpole diameter (ID) >20 cm) was observed in 12 cases (25 %) and massive splenomegaly (ID >25 cm) in 3 cases (6.25 %). Conversion to laparotomy occurred in two patients (4.16 %), both associated to uncontrollable bleeding in patients with splenomegaly. Mean operative time was 138 ± 22 min. Mean hospital stay was 4.5 days. Postoperative morbidity rate was 8.8 % for the benign group and 35.7 % in the malignant group. Mortality occurred in 1/48 patients (2.08 %), as a result of overwhelming post-splenectomy infection (OPSI). LS can be performed safely for malignant splenic disease and splenomegaly without any statistically significant increase of morbidity and mortality rate. Conversion rate is increased for massive splenomegaly. LS should be considered as the preferential approach even in patients with malignant disease, splenomegaly, or unusual cases. Massive splenomegaly should be considered as relative contraindication to LS even at experienced centers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-119
Number of pages5
JournalUpdates in Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Indications for laparoscopic splenectomy
  • Laparoscopic splenectomy
  • Splenectomy
  • Unusual cases of spleen disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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