Laparoscopic Splenectomy

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The elucidation of splenic function in health and disease has been continuously evolving since Aristotle dismissed the concept that it is essential for human existence more than 2000 years ago. The first recorded splenectomy was performed by Zaccarelli in 1549 for presumed malaria in a young woman who survived at least 6 years postoperatively [1]. The nonessential nature of the spleen was reinforced in subsequent animal experimentation following Read’s successful splenectomy in a dog in 1638 [2]. Quittenbaum [3], in 1826, is credited with the initial well-documented splenectomy in a young woman with probable portal hypertension and splenomegaly. The patient expired postoperatively from exsanguination. Despite this dismal early outcome, splenectomy became an acceptable practice for idiopathic hypertrophy, malarial hypertrophy, splenic anemia, leukemia, cysts, and tuberculosis, with an associated mortality rate of 13% by 1908 [4].



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