Skip to Content
Authors James AW, Rabl C, Westphalen AC, Fogarty PF, Posselt AM, Campos GM
Author Profile(s)
Journal Arch Surg Volume: 144 Issue: 6 Pages: 520-6
Publish Date 2009 Jun
PubMed ID 19528384

Portomesenteric venous thrombosis (PVT) is an uncommon but potentially lethal condition reported after several laparoscopic procedures. Its presentation, treatment, and outcomes remain poorly understood, and possible etiologic factors include venous stasis from increased intra-abdominal pressure, intraoperative manipulation, or damage to the splanchnic endothelium and systemic thrombophilic states.Systematic literature review.Academic research.We summarized the clinical presentation and outcomes of PVT after laparoscopic surgery other than splenectomy in 18 subjects and reviewed the treatment strategies.Systematic review of the literature on PVT after laparoscopic procedures other than splenectomy.Eighteen cases of PVT following laparoscopic procedures were identified after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (n = 7), Nissen fundoplication (n = 5), partial colectomy (n = 3), cholecystectomy (n = 2), and appendectomy (n = 1). The mean patient age was 42 years (age range, 20-74 years). Systemic predispositions toward venous thrombosis were identified in 11 patients. Clinical symptoms consisted primarily of abdominal pain manifested, on average, 14 days (range, 3-42 days) after surgery. Thrombus location varied, but 8 patients had a combination of portal and superior mesenteric venous thrombosis. Sixteen patients were treated with anticoagulation therapy. Ten patients underwent major interventions, including exploratory laparotomy in 6 patients and thrombolytic therapy in 4 patients. Six patients had complications, and 2 patients died.Portomesenteric venous thrombosis following laparoscopic surgery usually manifests as nonspecific abdominal pain. Computed tomography can readily provide the diagnosis and demonstrate the extent of the disease. Treatment should be individualized based on the extent of thrombosis and the presence of bowel ischemia but should include anticoagulation therapy. Venous stasis from increased intra-abdominal pressure, intraoperative manipulation of splanchnic vasculature, and systemic thrombophilic states likely converges to produce this potentially lethal condition. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System