Because total splenectomy has been shown to affect immunocompetence in children, partial splenectomy is advocated as an alternative to total splenectomy in traumatic injury as well as in treatment of benign cysts. Present techniques include elaborate hemostatic techniques and extensive suture repair which has led to the development of massive abdominal adhesions. We have investigated CO2 laser sealing of splenic wounds to obviate the need for extensive repair and to minimize intraabdominal reaction. Five dogs underwent partial splenectomy with a scalpel. Hemostasis was obtained with CO2 laser coagulation; a defocused laser beam at 8 W (power density 30-50 W/cm2). After 3 weeks, the laser sealed splenic tissue was amputated and, on this occasion, hemostasis was obtained using a standard suture technique of Teflon pledget-bolstered chromic sutures. Three weeks later the dogs were explored and the sutured splenic tissue was removed. Gross findings on the first exploration demonstrated no signs of hemorrhage and minimal adhesions of the laser sealed spleens. In contrast, exploration after suture repair revealed dense adhesions containing the spleen, omentum, mesentery, and small and large bowel. Microscopic examination of the laser sealed spleen showed a zone of injury only 2-3-mm thick. Excellent hemostasis of the cut surface of the spleen can be accomplished using the CO2 laser. In addition, the minimal depth of injury and the absence of foreign material in the peritoneal cavity make this an attractive alternative to conventional methods.
ASJC Scopus subject areas