Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(3):222-229. doi:10.7150/ijms.5373 This issue

Research Paper

Anterior Versus Posterolateral Approach for Total Laparoscopic Splenectomy: A Comparative Study

Bai Ji*, Yingchao Wang*, Ping Zhang, Guangyi Wang, Yahui Liu

Department of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, the First Bethune Hospital, Jilin University, Jilin 130021, China.
* Bai Ji and Yingchao Wang contributed equally to this manuscript.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Ji B, Wang Y, Zhang P, Wang G, Liu Y. Anterior Versus Posterolateral Approach for Total Laparoscopic Splenectomy: A Comparative Study. Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(3):222-229. doi:10.7150/ijms.5373. Available from

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Objective: Although the anterior approach is normally used for elective laparoscopic splenectomy (LS), the posterolateral approach may be superior. We have retrospectively compared the effectiveness and safety of these approaches in patients with non-severe splenomegaly scheduled for elective total LS.

Methods: Patients with surgical spleen disorders scheduled for elective LS between March 2005 and June 2011 underwent laparoscopic splenic mobilization via the posterolateral or anterior approach. Main outcome measures included operation time, intraoperative blood loss, frequency of postoperative pancreatic leakage, and length of hospital stay.

Results: During the study period, 203 patients underwent LS, 58 (28.6%) via the posterolateral and 145 (71.4%) via the anterior approach. Three patients (1.5%) required conversion to laparotomy due to extensive perisplenic adhesions. The posterolateral approach was associated with significantly shorter operation time (65.0 ± 12.3 min vs. 95.0 ± 21.3 min, P < 0.01), reduced intraoperative blood loss (200.0 ± 23.4 mL vs. 350.0 ± 45.2 mL, P < 0.01), and shorter hospital stay (5.0 ± 2.0 d vs. 9.0 ± 3.0 d, P < 0.01) than the anterior approach. The frequency of pancreatic leakage was slightly lower in patients undergoing LS via the posterolateral than the anterior approach (0.0% vs. 3.4%, P > 0.05)

Conclusions: The posterolateral approach is more effective and safer than the anterior approach in patients without severe splenomegaly (< 30 cm).

Keywords: Laparoscopic splenectomy, Posterolateral approach, Anterior approach, Comparative study.