BACKGROUND: As proficiency with single-incision pediatric endosurgery (SIPES) increases, more challenging operations are being performed. While the ultimate goal is safe surgery, it may be beneficial to know what anatomical and technical factors contribute to the need for additional ports. This aspect of SIPES splenectomy has yet to be evaluated. The study objective was to identify these factors, potentially allowing surgeons to gauge appropriateness for single incision and to tailor techniques for optimal results. METHODS: This was an institutional review board-approved retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data (FWA00005960). SIPES splenectomies performed at a tertiary children's hospital since March of 2009 were included. Demographic and technical factors pertaining to each operation were available in our SIPES database. Fischer's exact and Wilcoxon rank sum tests were used to analyze categorical and continuous variables, respectively. RESULTS: Thirty-seven patients 18 years of age and younger underwent attempted SIPES splenectomy. Two operations were converted directly to open and were excluded from analysis. Of the remaining 35 operations, 15 (42.9 %) were completed with additional ports. Gender, age, body mass index, splenic weight, indication for operation and the presence of accessory spleens did not contribute to the need for added ports. The only factor to reach statistical significance was the number of channels present in the SIPES access device (p = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Completion of SIPES splenectomy was associated with the decision to utilize an access device with four channels. Anatomic variables did not appear to affect the ability to complete SIPES splenectomy.