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South African Journal of Surgery

On-line version ISSN 2078-5151
Print version ISSN 0038-2361


FERNDALE, L et al. Initial experience with laparoscopic splenectomy for immune thrombocytopenic purpura. S. Afr. j. surg. [online]. 2013, vol.51, n.2, pp.54-56. ISSN 2078-5151.

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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