Purpose: Splenectomy is the standard therapy for medically refractory immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). Laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) has gained wide acceptance; however, the long-term outcomes of LS versus open splenectomy (OS) for patients with ITP remain unclear. Methods: We analyzed, retrospectively, 32 patients who underwent splenectomy, as LS in 22 and OS in 10, for refractory ITP at our institute. Data were evaluated based on the American Society of Hematology 2011 evidence-based practice guidelines for ITP. Results: Although the operation time was significantly longer in the LS group (p < 0.01), LS was associated with less blood loss (p < 0.01), infrequent blood transfusion during surgery (p < 0.01), quicker resumption of oral intake (p < 0.01), and shorter hospital stay (p < 0.01) than OS. Positive responses, including complete and partial remission, were achieved in 90% of the OS group patients and 77% of the LS group patients. The mean follow-up periods were 183 and 92 months, respectively. Relapse-free survival rates, 15 years after the operation were 63% in the OS group and 94% in the LS group. Conclusions: LS can provide better short-term results and comparable long-term results to those of OS for ITP.
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