Background Partial splenectomy is utilized selectively in children with hereditary spherocytosis (HS) to decrease hemolysis while maintaining immunity. Our aim was to compare outcomes between laparoscopic total splenectomy (LTS) and laparoscopic partial splenectomy (LPS). Methods After obtaining institutional review board approval, we reviewed the records for all children ≤18 years with HS undergoing LTS and LPS between 2002 and 2012. Wilcoxon rank-sum tests were used. Results Eighty-seven HS children underwent LTS (n = 71) and LPS (n = 16). Mean age was 7.1 ± 3.6 years (LTS) and 5.5 ± 2.8 years (LPS; P =.14). Concomitant cholecystectomy was performed in 32% of LTS and 38% of LPS cases. Operative time was 87 ± 33 minutes (LTS) and 140 ± 36 minutes (LPS; P =.0005). Duration of stay was 1.2 ± 0.5 days (LTS) and 2.4 ± 1.4 days (LPS; P =.003). Reticulocyte and hemoglobin levels improved after both operations. LPS children had lower preoperative (8.8 ± 1.9 vs 10.2 ± 1.7 g/dL; P =.0148) and postoperative (10.5 ± 1.7 vs 13.8 ± 1.1 g/dL; P <.0001) hemoglobin levels than did LTS patients. Three LPS children required transfusion (at 2, 4 and 5 postoperative years) for parvovirus-associated aplastic crises. No LTS child developed splenic function or anemia. Conclusion These data demonstrate that LPS decreases hemolysis, although LTS is more effective. LPS children had lower preoperative hemoglobin levels, indicating more severe hemolysis. LPS also has greater operative time and duration of stay, disadvantages balanced by retained immunity.
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