Injury to the spleen occurs with disturbing freqency during surgery of the abdomen. This operative complication has received little direct attention in the literature. Most splenic injuries have been attributed to surgical misadventure, either by traction on the lienal attachments or with instruments. There has been no attempt to relate the clinical status of the patient to the incidence of injury or to explore other possible predisposing factors. This study was undertaken to investigate this problem.
Materials and Methods
The hospital records of all patients who had undergone splenectomy at the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Presbyterian-University Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine were reviewed for the five-year period, Jan 1, 1959, through Dec 31, 1963. The charts of 95 patients were studied. Particular attention was placed upon the indications for splenectomy, preoperative preparation of the patient, factors predisposing to splenic injury, type of operation, mechanisms of