Indexed on: 25 Jan '06Published on: 25 Jan '06Published in: Surgical Endoscopy
We have previously reported the feasibility of diagnostic and therapeutic peritoneoscopy including liver biopsy, gastrojejunostomy, and tubal ligation by an oral transgastric approach. We present results of per-oral transgastric splenectomy in a porcine model. The goal of this study was to determine the technical feasibility of per-oral transgastric splenectomy using a flexible endoscope.We performed acute experiments on 50-kg pigs. All animals were fed liquids for 3 days prior to procedure. The procedures were performed under general anesthesia with endotracheal intubation. The flexible endoscope was passed per orally into the stomach and puncture of the gastric wall was performed with a needle knife. The puncture was extended to create a 1.5-cm incision using a pull-type sphincterotome, and a double-channel endoscope was advanced into the peritoneal cavity. The peritoneal cavity was insufflated with air through the endoscope. The spleen was visualized. The splenic vessels were ligated with endoscopic loops and clips, and then mesentery was dissected using electrocautery.Endoscopic splenectomy was performed on six pigs. There were no complications during gastric incision and entrance into the peritoneal cavity. Visualization of the spleen and other intraperitoneal organs was very good. Ligation of the splenic vessels and mobilization of the spleen were achieved using commercially available devices and endoscopic accessories.Transgastric endoscopic splenectomy in a porcine model appears technically feasible. Additional long-term survival experiments are planned.