Previous reports from this hospital documented a splenic preservation rate of 50% (18/36) in adults after blunt and penetrating traum. Recently (January through December 1984), use of an absorbable mesh helped to attain a 67% (22/33) salvage rate. The mesh is applied in such a fashion that it acts by tamponade. It proved useful in patients with bleeding from a large surface area or from deep parenchymal injuries, even those extending into the hilum.
No deaths occurred in the splenic salvage patients. There was no difference in postoperative complications among the splenectomy, conventional splenorraphy, or mesh wrap splenorraphy groups. However, workup of persistent postoperative fevers in two splenic wrap patients revealed perisplenic fluid collections on CT scan. Aspiration yielded sterile fluid. Possible cause and effect relationship is being studied in the dog lab.
We conclude that splenic wrapping is both a safe and efficacious method of splenic preservation.