Analysis of the type and characteristics of complications after laparoscopic splenectomy may permit the identification of clinical factors with predictive value for the development of complications.
Univariate and multivariate analysis of factors related to complications in a prospective series of laparoscopic splenectomies.
A large tertiary referral university–teaching general hospital.
One hundred twenty-two nonselected consecutive patients, in whom laparoscopic splenectomy was attempted between February 1993 and July 1999.
Main Outcome Measures
Immediate complications classified according to the Clavien score. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed of complications related to age, sex, body mass index, and malignant nature of the hematologic disease; preoperative hematocrit and platelet count; operative time; operative position; need of accessory incision; transfusion status; learning curve; and existence of comorbid diseases.
One hundred thirteen laparoscopic splenectomies were completed (conversion rate, 7.4%). Twenty patients (18%) developed 23 complications. All were Clavien type I or II, without mortality. One complication was intraoperative (diaphragmatic perforation), and 22 were postoperative: 6 pulmonary (26%), 3 fever (13%), 8 hemorrhagic (35%) (5 episodes of postoperative bleeding and 3 abdominal wall hematomas), and 6 others (26%). Ten (43%) of the 23 were technically related. Univariate analysis showed that complications were only related to age (mean ± SD, 55 ± 15 vs 39 ± 17 years; P<.008) or transfusion (50% vs 11%; P<.001). Multivariate analysis showed that the learning curve (P<.005; 95% confidence interval, 2.46), age (P<.001; 95% confidence interval, 1.04), spleen weight (P<.009; 95% confidence interval, 1.00), and malignant neoplasm diagnosis (P<.007; 95% confidence interval, 3.82) were independent predictors of complications.
Laparoscopic splenectomy is feasible, and the incidence of severe complications is reduced. However, a high proportion of these complications are technique related. Laparoscopic splenectomy requires great technical care but offers major clinical advantages, even in less favorable situations, such as in patients with splenomegaly or with malignant neoplasms.