Comparative analysis of laparoscopic versus open splenectomy

L. Michael Brunt, Jacob C. Langer, Mary A. Quasebarth, Eric D. Whitman

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161 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) has been used to treat a variety of splenic disorders. However, there have been few direct comparisons of this approach with open splenectomy (OS). METHODS: Results and outcomes were compared retrospectively in 46 consecutive patients treated by laparoscopic (n = 26) or open splenectomy (n = 20) from January 1990 through March 1996. The two groups were similar in age, sex, and American Society of Anesthesiology classification. Splenectomy was performed for a variety of indications, and the majority of patients in both groups had normal or near- normal size spleens. All data are expressed as mean ± standard deviation. RESULTS: Laparoscopic splenectomy was successfully completed in all 26 attempted cases. Operative times were significantly longer for LS (202 ± 55 minutes) than for OS (134 ± 43 minutes) (P < 0.001); however, operative times in the last 13 LS cases (176 ± 48 minutes) averaged 51 minutes less than in the first 13 cases (227 ± 51 minutes). Estimated operative blood loss was less for LS (222 ± 280 mL) than for OS (376 ± 500 mL) (P = not significant). A mean of 2.0 units of red blood cells was transfused in 4 (15%) of 26 patients during LS vs 1.0 unit transfused in 2 (10%) of 20 patients who had OS (P = NS). Patients who underwent LS required significantly less parenteral pain medications, had a more rapid return to regular diet, and were discharged sooner than patients who had OS. Complication rates were similar in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that LS is technically safe and has several advantages over OS. Laparoscopic splenectomy should become the procedure of choice for the removal of normal and near-normal size spleens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)596-601
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1996


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