Splenectomy

Splenectomy is the surgical removal of the spleen. The spleen is an organ in the upper left part of the abdomen. It is beneath the ribs and behind the stomach. The spleen filters blood to remove bacteria, parasites, and other organisms that can cause infection. It removes old and damaged blood cells. It can also produce red blood cells and certain types of white blood cells.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occur:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
    • Increasing pain or swelling in your abdomen
    • Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, or severe nausea or vomiting
    • New, unexplained symptoms

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    Splenectomy is the surgical removal of the spleen. The spleen is an organ in the upper left part of the abdomen. It is beneath the ribs and behind the stomach. The spleen filters blood to remove bacteria, parasites, and other organisms that can cause infection. It removes old and damaged blood cells. It can also produce red blood cells and certain types of white blood cells.

    Spleen
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  • What to Expect

  • Reasons for Procedure

    You may need to be treated by having a splenectomy if you have:

    • Trauma
      to the spleen
    • Spleen rupture due to tumor, infection, inflammatory condition, or medications
    • Enlargement of the spleen
    • Certain
      blood disorders when other treatments are not working, including:
      • Sickle cell anemia
      • Idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura
      • Hereditary spherocytosis
      • Thalassemia
      • Hemolytic anemia
      • Hereditary elliptocytosis

    • Some types of
      leukemia
      or
      lymphoma
    • Tumor or abscess in the spleen
    • Liver disease (cirrhosis)
    • Abnormal formation of fibrous tissue in the bone marrow
    • Damage in the blood vessels of the spleen

    • Diseased spleen, due to disorders like
      HIV
      infection

  • Possible Complications

    Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:

    • Infection
    • Bleeding
    • Hernia
      formation at
      incision site
    • Blood clots
    • Damage to other organs

    Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Obesity
    • Diabetes
    • Smoking
    • Poor nutrition
    • Recent or chronic illness
    • Advanced age
    • Heart or lung disease
    • Bleeding or clotting disorders