Splenectomy is an effective treatment for immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). The recent advances in laparoscopic technique and technology have made laparoscopic splenectomy a viable option. Over 36 months we performed a total of 17 laparoscopic splenectomies, 15 of them for ITP and 2 for familial spherocytosis. We present our initial experience with laparoscopic splenectomy in 15 patients (age 16-71 years) with ITP. Operations were performed 2-24 months after the establishment of the diagnosis and initiation of appropriate therapy. Technically, the splenic artery was clipped first; the lower pole of the spleen and its posterolateral attachments were dissected using endoclips and electrocautery; the hilum and short gastric vessels were separated using an endostapler; the spleen was placed in a plastic bag, its opening pulled out through the umbilical incision, and the spleen fragmented and aspirated out of the bag. Operations lasted 100-300 min (mean 170 min). No patient required blood transfusion. The postoperative course was uneventful in all patients with minimal requirement of analgesia and early return to normal activity. Platelet counts returned to normal in all patients in a follow-up period of 2-36 months. Laparoscopic splenectomy is safe and effective for patients with ITP because of reduced operative trauma, less postoperative pain, cosmetic advantage, and possibly less postoperative complications.