Splenectomy in sickle cell haemoglobinopathies

Brajamohan Mishra, Malaya Krishna Nayak, Sandeep Mishra, Itishree Das


Background: Sickle cell disease is one of the common haemoglobinopathies in the world. Among its various clinical presentations, splenic complications are associated with high morbidity and substantial mortality, the only effective preventive strategy for which is prophylactic splenectomy. The aim of the present study was to observe the safety and effectiveness of splenectomy to prevent frequent requirement of hospitalizations, blood transfusions and splenic complications in patients of sickle cell disease.

Methods: The study was carried out in 72 patients of SCD with splenomegaly who underwent splenectomy for some indication in the surgery department of VSSIMSAR, Burla during the period from October 2016 to September 2018. Their preoperative baseline hematological parameters and frequency of transfusion requirement was compared with postoperative status.

Results: Of these 72 SCD patients, 49 (68.7%) patients had repeated requirement of blood transfusion and hypersplenism, 22 (30.5%) patients had history of one or more episodes of splenic sequestration crises, one patient had splenic abscess. After splenectomy the mean increase in haemoglobin level, TLC and TPC was respectively 2.83±0.9 gm%, 1.7±0.8 lac/cmm and 2726±1618/cmm. Operative mortality was 0%. None of the patients required any blood transfusion and no major postoperative complications during 6 months follow up period.

Conclusions: The morbidity of the patients of SCD in terms of repeated hospitalizations, blood transfusion, living with a huge spleen, accompanying symptoms and its complications can be effectively minimized by the elective splenectomy. With good preoperative preparation and post-operative management, splenectomy in SCD patients is a safe procedure with minimal risk of post-operative complications.


Sickle cell disease, Hypersplenism, Splenectomy

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