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February 1965

Local Infections After Splenectomy: Relationship of Drainage

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, and the Fifth (Harvard) Surgical Service, Boston City Hospital, and the Surgical Service, New England Deaconess Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1965;90(2):230-232. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320080054012

THOUGH ATTRACTING little attention in the surgical literature, the question of whether or not to drain the splenic bed following splenectomy is an important one because major local infectious complications, ie, subphrenic abscess, follow splenectomy. Many surgeons state unequivocally that the splenic bed should always be drained1-4 but others do not practice this and claim excellent results.6 Since these views seem to be based on empiricism, the following retrospective study was undertaken and presents the first analysis of a large series of splenectomies specifically for the postoperative local infectious complications.

Clinical Material  The clinical records of 130 patients undergoing splenectomy were reviewed. The operations were performed at the New England Deaconess Hospital and on the Surgical Services of the Boston City Hospital from 1954 to 1964. The age of patients ranged from 1½ to 70 years. There was a slight preponderance of men to women. Splenectomy was performed

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