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Laparoscopic splenectomy for solitary splenic tumors



Solitary splenic masses are a rare entity. There is a paucity of data in the literature on the evaluation and laparoscopic treatment for splenic masses. To further elucidate the evaluation and laparoscopic management of splenic masses we evaluated our own data.

Materials and methods

Data was collected retrospectively for all patients who underwent laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) in our institution for the diagnosis of a solid mass. Patients’ charts were reviewed. Complementary data was completed when needed by telephone interviews.


28 patients underwent LS for solid splenic masses between 1997 and 2006. Mean age was 54.3 years and 68% were women. Patients’ symptoms included abdominal pain (46.5%), anemia (32%), weight loss (21%), and palpable abdominal mass (21%). Fifty-three percent were asymptomatic at diagnosis. Preoperative patients’ imaging included computed tomography (92.8%), abdominal ultrasound (71.4%), and positron emission tomography (PET, 32%). Seven patients (25%) had a history of lymphoproliferative disease. The mass size as measured by computed tomography (CT) scan ranged from 4 to 11 cm. Three patients (10.7%) had multiple splenic lesions. Mean operative time was 125 min. Mean estimated blood loss was 200 ml. Five patients (17.9%) had massive splenomegaly. Conversion rate was 14.3%. In three patients (10.7%) the spleen was removed with additional organs’ tissue (stomach and pancreas). Two patients (7.1%) were reoperated. There was no postoperative mortality. Mean hospital stay was 4.7 days. Four patients (14.3%) were readmitted due to complications. Pathology revealed eight patients (28%) with benign tumors and the rest (71.4%) with malignant lymphoma.


Splenic solid tumor is a rare entity. Most of the cases were eventually diagnosed as malignant tumors. In our series, all malignant tumors were non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The most common benign lesion was inflammatory pseudotumor. This study has demonstrated the feasibility and safety of LS for diagnosis and treatment of both benign and malignant tumors of the spleen.

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Correspondence to Shmuel Avital.

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Makrin, V., Avital, S., White, I. et al. Laparoscopic splenectomy for solitary splenic tumors. Surg Endosc 22, 2009–2012 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00464-008-0024-8

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  • Laparoscopic splenectomy
  • Spleen
  • Splenic tumor
  • Tumor