Partial splenectomy, with resection of the lower one-fourth to one-third spleen, was performed in 10 children with Hodgkin's disease as part of an otherwise standard staging laparotomy. The technique proved to be safe and practical, with no postoperative complications. No evidence to date indicates that splenic involvement was missed, and all the children have thus far continued to do well, with no deaths from either underlying disease or postsplenectomy sepsis. The procedure is undergoing a prospective clinical trial in an effort to determine whether or not it is comparable from a diagnostic point of view to total splenectomy. Available data indicate that the risk of missing intraabdominal disease in a staging laparotomy with a partial splenectomy is quite low. Such a procedure should eliminate the substantial risk of postsplenectomy sepsis in such children.