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Laparoscopic splenectomy for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). A five-year experience



Laparoscopic splenectomy for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). A five-year experience



Surgical Endoscopy 13(11): 1083-1086



Laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) has rapidly become the preferred surgical treatment for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), but its long-term efficacy for this disorder is unproved. This report documents the author's 5-year experience with, and long-term follow-up of, LS for ITP. Between September 1992 and September 1997, 30 patients with clinical ITP and intractable thrombocytopenia were referred as surgical candidates. Two of them (7%) were converted to open, and the other 28 underwent successful LS. The operative approach evolved from a supine lithotomy to right lateral decubitus position, and the harmonic scalpel became the primary dissection tool in the later part of the study. The 28 successful LS patients constituted the study group. Accessory spleens were identified and resected in six patients (21%). Surgical times and blood loss averaged 2.4 h and 170 cc, respectively. The typical hospital stay was 2 days. Initial reversal of thrombocytopenia and ultimate cessation of oral steroids was achieved in 25 of 28 patients (89%). There were no deaths, but two patients had major complications (bleeding and pneumonia). All but two patients experienced a return to full activity and/or employment by 3 weeks post-LS. In the three cases that failed LS, none had residual splenic tissue on subsequent radionuclide scan. Long-term follow-up (2-60 months) was obtained in 22 of 28 patients (79%). The only death (at 13 months) resulted from oncologic disease. Twenty-one patients had lasting clinical remission of ITP. A positive preoperative response to oral steroids was the best predictor of success. This 5-year experience with LS supports its use for the surgical treatment of ITP. The procedure is safe and efficacious, resulting in brief hospitalization, minimal recovery time, and excellent long-term results.

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Accession: 046520308

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PMID: 10556443


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