Background: Laparoscopic splenectomy is a novel approach for the treatment of idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) in patients requiring surgical intervention. This technique was used for treatment in 16 consecutive patients. Follow-up was initiated at a median of 13.5 months after surgery to determine whether or not laparoscopic splenectomy is a safe and successful procedure that should be used in all patients requiring splenectomy for ITP. Methods: Sixteen patients underwent laparoscopic splenectomy for ITP between May 1994 and September 1996. They were evaluated prospectively prior to surgery, immediately following surgery, at discharge, and at 13.5 months follow-ing surgery (n = 14) to determine the short- and long-term results of the procedure. Results: Mean operation time was 123.4 ± 12.1 min, and there were no significant intra- or postoperative complications. Mean intraoperative blood loss was 437.5 ± 73.5 ml. Autologous blood transfusion was necessary in one patient (6.3%). Mean organ weight was 202.2 ± 47.3 g. Mean postoperative hospital stay was 4.6 ± 0.4 days. Before discharge, mean platelet count rose by 100.7%. At follow-up (13.5 months postoperatively), it was 77.7% above preoperative values. No additional surgery was necessary in any of the patients undergoing laparoscopic splenectomy, and hematologic success was achieved in 12 patients (85.7%). Conclusions: Our results clearly indicate that laparoscopic splenectomy is a safe and successful procedure in patients suffering from ITP. It offers the well-known advantages of minimal invasive surgery as well as the surgical effectiveness of the open approach. This surgical technique should therefore be considered in all patients requiring splenectomy for the treatment of ITP.
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Laparoscopic splenectomy