Laparoscopic splenectomy for patients with liver cirrhosis: Improvement of liver function in patients with Child-Pugh class B

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We aimed to assess the short-term outcomes of laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) and liver function at 1 year after splenectomy in the patients with liver cirrhosis.


Forty-five patients with liver cirrhosis and hypersplenism underwent LS. We reviewed electronic medical records regarding the liver functional reserve, the etiology of liver cirrhosis, and the presence of hepatocellular carcinoma and esophago-gastric varices. Prospectively collected data of perioperative variables, postoperative complications, and long-term liver function were analyzed.


Forty-five patients had a chronic liver disease classified into Child-Pugh classes (A/B/C: 23/20/2). The etiologies of disease were hepatitis C virus infection in 34 patients, hepatitis B virus infection in 4, and others in 7. Fourteen patients underwent procedures in addition to LS, including hepatectomy (n = 7) and devascularization for esophagogastric varices (n = 8). Postoperative complications occurred in 11 patients (24%). Neither postoperative liver failure nor in-hospital mortality occurred. White blood cell and platelet counts determined 7 days, 1 month, and 1 year after LS doubled or increased more than twice compared with the preoperative values (P < .001). One year after LS, patients who had been classified preoperatively into Child-Pugh class B had decreased total serum bilirubin levels (P = .03), and increased prothrombin activity (P = 003) and decreased Child-Pugh scores (P = .001). The Child-Pugh classifications improved in 14 of 18 patients (78%) who had Child-Pugh class B preoperatively.


LS is a safe and feasible procedure for hypersplenism in patients with liver cirrhosis. In addition, LS most likely ameliorates liver function at 1 year after LS in patients with Child-Pugh class B liver cirrhosis.

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