Background Laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) is still challenging in patients with liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension. This study was designed to establish safe and less invasive LS in patients with liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension. Study Design We analyzed 390 patients with liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension, who underwent LS between 1993 and 2013. Patients were divided into 3 time periods; early (1993 to 2004, n = 106); middle (2005 to 2008, n = 159); and late (2008 to 2013, n = 125). During the middle time period, standardized technique for LS and selection criteria for hand-assisted LS were adopted. Patients with spleen volume ≥ 1,000 mL by CT volumetry, large perisplenic collateral vessels, and/or Child-Pugh score ≥ 9, underwent hand-assisted LS. During the late time period, the selection criteria were refined and patients with spleen volume ≥ 600 mL underwent hand-assisted LS. Results Conversion to open splenectomy decreased (10.4% in the early time period, 1.9% in the middle time period, and 3.2% in the late time period, p = 0.004), median blood loss decreased (300g, 87g, and 98g, respectively, p < 0.001), and the success rate of pure LS tended to improve (87.2%, 89.5%, and 98.0%, respectively, p = 0.110). Mortality was 0% in each time period, Clavien-Dindo grade IIIb or more complications tended to decrease (5.7%, 2.5%, and 0.8%, respectively, p = 0.081), and technique-related complications decreased significantly (10.4%, 3.8%, and 2.4%, respectively, p = 0.014). Conclusions Laparoscopic splenectomy is now a safe and less invasive approach, even in patients with liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension, because of its technical standardization with the refined selection criteria for pure or hand-assisted LS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes