Laparoscopic hand-assisted spleen autotransplantation

L. Biertho, M. Gagner, A. Waage, W. W. Kim, B. Jacob, B. Faife-Faife, N. Sekhar, G. DelGenio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Only recently has the spleen been perceived as an organ with a major immune function. This raised an interest in spleen salvage after spleen trauma and pancreatic tail resection, for the treatment of hematologic disorders and inducement tolerance for allogenic transplants. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of a new technique for spleen transplantation: laparoscopic spleen autotransplantation in a large animal model. Methods: Ten 35-kg pigs were used for this study. A laparoscopic hand-assisted splenectomy was first performed. The spleen was extracted through the handport to be flushed with a 4°C saline solution and prepared extracorporeally. The graft was then reintroduced into the same animal's abdominal cavity, and a splenic-to-common iliac artery and vein bypass was performed laparoscopically using a 7-0 polytetrafluoroethylene running suture. The animal was killed 1 week postoperatively for histologic examination. Results: All 10 animals tolerated the procedure well. No conversion to open surgery was required. The mean operative time was 253 ± 45 min. The mean time needed to create the artery and vein anastomoses was 116 ± 165 min, and the mean blood loss was 190 ± 120 ml. There was no intra- or postoperative death. Intraoperative complications included two stenosed vascular anastomoses, which were taken down and revised. Seven of the 10 spleens were histologically viable 1 week after surgery. The nonviable transplantations were attributable to a thrombosis of the common iliac artery (n = 1) or the transplant artery (n = 2). Conclusions: Hand-assisted laparoscopic spleen autotransplantation is feasible in an animal model. This procedure could constitute an option when spleen resection is necessary for pancreatic tail resection, or when spleen preservation is important to the maintenance or restoration of an immune function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1335-1339
Number of pages5
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal model
  • Hand-assisted
  • Laparoscopy
  • Spleen
  • Transplantation


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