Spleen removal - series

Normal anatomy

The spleen is an organ involved in the production and maintenance of red blood cells, the production of certain circulating white blood cells, as a part of the lymph system, and as a part of the immune system.

Normal anatomy

Indications

Guidelines for splenectomy include:

  • congenital or acquired hemolytic anemia
  • idiopathic thrombocytopenia
  • trauma to the spleen
  • lymphoma, leukemia, Hodgkin's disease
  • portal hypertension and hypersplenism
  • hereditary spherocytosis
Indications

Incision

General anesthesia is used. The patient is in deep sleep and pain free. The surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen.

Incision

Procedure

The surgeon locates and isolates the spleen, rotates it and brings it out of the wound. Its attachments to other organs are gently cut. In children, following traumatic injury and splenic disruption, a healthy fragment of the spleen may be reimplanted. Such fragments provide continued splenic function.

Procedure

Aftercare

The outcome varies with the underlying disease and extent of other injuries. Complete recovery from surgery should be anticipated. Recovery from the operation should be rapid. Hospitalization should be less than a week, and complete healing should occur within 3 to 4 weeks.

Aftercare

Revision

Last reviewed 1/29/2013 by John A. Daller, MD, PhD, Department of Surgery, Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Chester, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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