Portal Vein Thrombosis Following Splenectomy in Children: Is There a Higher Rate When Using Single-Incision Laparoscopy?

Academic Article


  • Background: Portal vein thrombosis can be a life-threatening complication associated with a splenectomy. Laparoscopic splenectomy has been suggested to cause an increased rate of portal vein thrombosis. Our study evaluated the rate of portal vein thrombosis in pediatric patients who underwent a splenectomy via single-site laparoscopy. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed for all patients undergoing laparoscopic splenectomy from November 2012 to July 2019. Demographic data, operative details, postoperative imaging, and patient outcomes were obtained for analysis. Patients were contacted to determine if they had any complications for which they sought medical care elsewhere. Results: There were 78 pediatric patients who underwent laparoscopic splenectomy over the 7-year period. The most common indication was sickle cell disease (70.5%). Single-incision laparoscopy was performed in 61.5% of the cases. Eight were converted to open. Eleven patients (14.1%) had a laparoscopic cholecystectomy performed during the same operation. The overall complication rate was 8.9%. A quarter of our patients had imaging within 1 year of surgery; no portal vein thrombosis was identified. In addition, over half of the patients were recontacted for follow-up questioning. None of the patients surveyed sought medical care elsewhere for a surgery-related complication or sequela of a portal vein thrombus. Discussion: Single-incision laparoscopic splenectomy is a safe approach in children. Using the single-site platform allows the flexibility to perform additional operations, such as cholecystectomy, without the placement of additional ports. This analysis shows that patients undergoing single-incision laparoscopic splenectomy do not have a higher rate for portal vein thrombosis.
  • Published In

  • American Surgeon  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Esparaz JR; Onwubiko C; Mortellaro VE
  • Start Page

  • 238
  • End Page

  • 241
  • Volume

  • 88
  • Issue

  • 2