At our hospital, 47 out of 184 consecutive splenectomies performed over 7 recent years were carried out on patients afflicted with various hematologic diseases. The results of these 47 splenectomies were the subject of a careful retrospective analysis. The majority of the splenectomies (81 %) were therapeutic. Cytopenia, particularly thrombocytopenia, was the most common indication for surgery. As a whole, good therapeutic responses with rapid improvements in peripheral blood picture and/or diminished symptoms of pressure discomfort from an enlarged spleen were obtained. There was no peri- or postoperative mortality; 23% major and 26% minor postoperative complications were recorded. In patients with perioperative bleeding and various postoperative complications, the spleens were larger than in subjects who run an uneventful periand postoperative course. During the follow-up period, 4 septicemias occurred in 3 patients. In 2 of these patients, the septicemias coincided with a cholecystitis and a pneumonia, respectively. None of the infections was lethal. It is concluded that elective splenectomy for hematologic disease in well selected and carefully prepared patients is beneficial and can be performed without mortality or major hazards.

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