Laparoscopic Splenectomy for Massive Splenomegaly: Does Size Matter?

Levan Tsamalaidze, John A. Stauffer, Samantha L. Permenter, Horacio J. Asbun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) has become the most common approach for elective splenectomy, but use of LS for patients with massive splenomegaly (MS) remains controversial. By the 2008 European guidelines, LS for MS (spleen size >20 cm) is generally not recommended. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of 229 consecutive patients undergoing LS, hand-assist (HALS), and open splenectomy (OS) at our institution from January 1, 1995 to December 2016. Eighty-six (38%) had MS. Patient demographics, comorbidities, operative details, and outcomes were analyzed. Results: Of 86 patients with MS, 27 (31%) underwent LS, 12 (14%) HALS, and 47 (55%) OS. No significant difference was revealed in patient demographics, comorbidities, American Society of Anesthesiologists class, and spleen size (24.2 cm vs. 23.7 cm vs. 26.6 cm, P = .06). Benign spleen diseases (23), malignancy (57%), and miscellaneous (20%) were indications for surgery. The mean operative time and estimated blood loss in LS, HALS, and OS were 153, 168, and 131 minutes (P = .17) and 100, 162, and 278 mL (P = .24), respectively. Three patients (11.1%) with LS and 1 (8.3%) with HALS required conversion to OS for different reasons (spleen size, technical difficulties, bleeding). Morbidity was similar in all three groups (P = .99). One mortality (1.1%) was noted after OS. Six (7%) patients in the LS group and three (3.5%) in the OS group developed postsplenectomy thrombosis of splenic, mesenteric, and portal veins. Length of stay was shorter in patients with LS and almost reached clinical significance (3.2 vs. 4.9 vs. 5.2 days; P = .06). Conclusion: LS is safe, feasible, and associated with shorter hospital stay than HALS and OS for MS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1009-1014
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017


  • laparoscopic splenectomy
  • massive splenomegaly
  • splenomegaly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Laparoscopic Splenectomy for Massive Splenomegaly: Does Size Matter?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this