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The second phase of the operation involved division of the splenic hilum. The caudal portion of the splenic hilar vessels were isolated, and then divided using a vascular load in the linear stapler. Strategic retraction of the stomach (via port 2), and preserved gastrosplenic ligament, produces a tent to view the anterior portion of the splenic hilum. This is necessary for optimal stapler placement (via port 4). Prior to the placement of the stapler, a posterior window is created with blunt dissection in the avascular space posterior to the splenic hilum vasculature.
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