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n South African Journal of Surgery - Initial experience with laparoscopic splenectomy for immune thrombocytopenic purpura : general surgery
Background. 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.
Methods. 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.
Results. 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.
Conclusion. 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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