Laparoscopic accessory splenectomy using intraoperative gamma probe guidance. Academic Article uri icon


  • In cases of accessory splenic tissue in postsplenectomy patients, it is of utmost importance to localize the accessory spleen prior to surgery. Several studies have shown the feasibility of laparoscopic resection of accessory splenic tissue using preoperative scintigraphy. We present the cases of three postsplenectomy patients with accessory splenic tissue causing relapsing hematologic disease. Accessory spleens were diagnosed and localized preoperatively by positive uptake of heat-damaged Tc99m-labeled red blood cells using scintigraphy. Two patients with relapse of immune thrombocytopenic purpura and one with hemolytic anemia underwent handheld gamma probe-assisted laparoscopic accessory splenectomy. One patient with immune thrombocytopenic purpura recovered his platelet count at 3-year follow-up. The other patient had a relapse of disease within 3 months despite successful removal of the accessory spleen. The patient with hemolytic anemia had postoperative relapse; two accessory spleens were identified on radionuclide investigation. The use of intraoperative nuclear imaging can greatly aid in localization and provide confirmation of complete laparoscopic excision of the nuclear focus. The technique is especially useful in cases of a small accessory spleen, by avoiding a major open procedure and contributing to good postoperative results.

publication date

  • January 1, 2007