Background/Aims: Laparoscopic splenectomy is now increasingly being performed. However, controversy remains regarding the effectiveness of a laparoscopic splenectomy for patients with portal hypertension. Methodology: Seventy-three patients with portal hypertension who underwent a laparoscopic splenectomy from February 1992 until October 2000 were reviewed and the effectiveness of the procedures for portal hypertension was evaluated. Forty-two patients had esophagogastric varices and twenty had a concomitant hepatocellular carcinoma. The indications for surgery were bleeding tendency due to thrombocytopenia (n=40), difficulty in receiving treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma due to thrombocytopenia (n=18), and sclerotherapy-resistant esophagogastric varices (n=15). Results: A laparoscopic splenectomy was successfully performed in all the patients. The rate of conversion to conventional open surgery was 9.6% (7/73). The mean operative time was 210.1±101.9 minutes, and the estimated blood loss was 374.7±352.4mL. There were no cases of mortality, and morbidity was encountered in 11.0% of patients. The increase in the platelet count correlated significantly to the spleen weight (P<0.001). The platelet count had been maintained at over 10x104/mm3 for over three years. Eighteen patients with hepatocellular carcinoma successfully underwent treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma after surgery and no recurrence of esophagogastric varices was encountered. Conclusions: A laparoscopic splenectomy resulted in the successful secondary treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma and esophagogastric varices. Portal hypertension was not a contraindication. A laparoscopic approach is therefore the procedure of choice for a splenectomy in portal hypertension.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2002|
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