Effect of Splenectomy on Morbidity and Survival Following Curative Gastrectomy for Carcinoma
We performed a retrospective analysis of 392 patients who underwent curative resection of gastric adenocarcinoma to evaluate the impact of splenectomy on survival from gastric cancer and postoperative morbidity. Twelve factors, including splenectomy, were associated with a poor prognosis by univariate analysis. Multivariate analysis identified six of these factors, but not splenectomy, as independently predictive of death due to gastric cancer. The apparent adverse effect of splenectomy was due to its association with other significant risk factors. Postoperative complications occurred more commonly in patients who underwent splenectomy than in those who did not (45% vs 21%); patients in the splenectomy group also had a higher percentage of infectious complications than those in the nonsplenectomy group (75% vs 47%). We conclude that splenectomy has no direct influence on survival, but that it increases the morbidity of curative gastrectomy and should be avoided unless the spleen is close to or invaded by the tumor.