n South African Journal of Surgery - Initial experience with laparoscopic splenectomy for immune thrombocytopenic purpura : general surgery

Volume 51, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0038-2361
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5151



Laparoscopic splenectomy has become the preferred method of splenectomy for refractory immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). We present our experience with the introduction of laparoscopic splenectomy for ITP.

Over a 2-year period, retrospective and prospective data were collected on all patients undergoing laparoscopic splenectomy for ITP at our institution. We analysed demographic data, peri-operative courses, platelet count responses and complications.
Twenty laparoscopic splenectomies were performed. There were 2 conversions to an open procedure. The average operating time was 100 minutes (range 30 - 170 minutes), and mean blood loss was 106 ml (range 50 - 200 ml). There were no deaths or major complications. The mean follow-up period was 7 months. Ninety-five per cent of patients had a complete or partial response to splenectomy.
Laparoscopic splenectomy can be introduced safely with an acceptable conversion rate, and is an effective treatment for ITP on short-term follow-up.

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