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Zentralbl Chir. 2004 Apr;129(2):108-13.

[Introduction of laparoscopic splenectomy for the treatment of immune thrombocytopenic purpura].

[Article in German]

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Department of Surgery, Hospital of Kaunas University of Medicine, Kaunas, Lithuania.



Was to evaluate retrospectively the outcomes and efficacy of the laparoscopic splenectomies for ITP patients, performed at our institution over a period of 7 years and to compare these results with those after open splenectomies.


We collected and analyzed data of 22 consecutive adult patients with ITP who underwent either laparoscopic (LS gr., n = 9) or open (OS gr., n = 13) splenectomy at Hospital of Kaunas University of Medicine between the years 1996 and 2002. The indications for splenectomy in these patients were unsuccessful treatment with corticosteroids or other medications and/or the requirement of high dosages of steroids for prolonged periods of time to maintain platelet count > 50 G/L before operation. Prior to surgery, all patients were treated with corticosteroids and/or intravenous immunoglobulin to raise the platelet count and to minimize the risk of intraoperative bleeding. The efficacy of the operation was evaluated by counting platelets one day before surgery and on the first and fifth postoperative day. Data chosen for analysis included age, gender, weight, height, American Society of Anaesthesiologists (ASA) score, number of converted patients, estimated blood loss during operation, operating time, postoperative secretion through the drains, morbidity, mortality and postoperative hospital stay.


There were no significant differences between LS and OS groups according patients age, weight, height, gender and ASA score. The mean operative time was 138.8 +/- 50.1 min in LS group and was significantly longer than operative time in OS group (102.3 +/- 21.3 min). One patient was converted to open splenectomy because of severe bleeding from splenic hilum. Postoperative complications occurred in one patient from each group. The mean intraoperative blood loss was 460 +/- 125 ml in LS group and 510 +/- 140 ml in OS group (p > 0.05). Postoperative secretion through the drains and postoperative secretion time in LS group was significantly lower and shorter than in OS group. Postoperative hospital stay in LS group (5 +/- 1.1 days) was significantly shorter than in OS group (8 +/- 1.4 days). After splenectomy, there was an immediate increase in the platelet count of all patients in both groups. Between the day before surgery and the first postoperative day, the mean platelet count rose significantly from 75 +/- 57.0 G/L to 117 +/- 84.2 G/L in LS group and from 64 +/- 60.1 G/L to 122 +/- 79.3 G/L in OS group. Between the first postoperative day and the fifth postoperative day, the mean platelet count also rose significantly in both groups: from 117 +/- 84.2 G/L to 259 +/- 151.0 G/L in LS group and from 122 +/- 79.3 G/L to 258 +/- 158.4 G/L in OS group. In the immediate postoperative period (five days after operation), all LS group and OS group patients responded to the splenectomy.


Laparoscopic or open splenectomy are equally efficacious in patients with ITP, with an immediate response rate of 100 % in our study. Our study results show that open splenectomy appears superior to laparoscopic procedure in terms of shorter operative time. Laparoscopic splenectomy appears superior to open procedure in terms of postoperative hospital stay, postoperative drainage time, less postoperative secretion through the drains. These two approaches are similar with regard to blood loss during operations and the rate of postoperative complications.

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