Pre-operative splenic artery embolization for massive splenomegaly in children

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Introduction: Massive splenomegaly in children can complicate minimally invasive splenectomy. Splenic artery embolization (SAE) before splenectomy has been shown to decrease splenic volume, reduce intraoperative blood loss, and decrease conversion rates in laparoscopic surgery. Our objective was to review our recent experience with immediate preoperative SAE in massive splenomegaly for pediatric patients using both laparoscopic and robotic techniques.

Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed preoperative SAE outcomes in pediatric patients with massive splenomegaly undergoing minimally invasive splenectomy between January 2018 and July 2021.

Results: Four patients, 3 female, ages 5–18 years, had SAE immediately before minimally invasive splenectomy. Two cases were completed robotically, one laparoscopically, and one laparoscopic case required conversion to open. SAE time ranged from 69 to 92 minutes. Time between embolization and surgical start ranged from 26 to 56 minutes, with operative times from 153 to 317 minutes. Estimated blood loss ranged from(range 2–6). Postoperative complications included one patient with ileus and another with concurrent gastritis and urinary tract infection. Splenic size comparisons were difficult to perform due to morselization of the spleen; however, excised spleen weights, measurements, and surgeon's impression suggested decreased size of the spleen after SAE. There were no transfusions, postembolization complications, or deaths.

Conclusion: SAE subjectively appears to decrease splenic distension, which should allow for easier manipulation and possibly better visualization of splenic hilar vessels during minimally invasive surgery. Immediate preoperative SAE is safe and feasible and should be considered in pediatric patients with massive splenomegaly.


Beaumont Health Research Institute Residents' and Fellows' Research Forum, Royal Oak, MI, April, 2022.

International Pediatric Endosurgery Group Annual Meeting (IPEG), Miami, FL, June 2022.

This document is currently not available here.