Alternate Names : Splenectomy, Laparoscopic splenectomy, Spleen removal - laparoscopic
Spleen removal (splenectomy) is surgery to remove a diseased or damaged spleen. This organ is in the upper part of your belly, on the left side. It helps your body fight germs and infections. It also helps filter your blood.
Overview & Description
The spleen is removed while you are under general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free). Your surgeon may do either an open splenectomy or a laparoscopic splenectomy.
In an open spleen removal:
- Your surgeon will make an incision (cut) in the middle of your belly or on the left side of the belly just below your ribs.
- Your surgeon will find your spleen and remove it.
- If you are also being treated for cancer, lymph nodes in your belly will be examined. They may also be removed.
- After checking carefully for bleeding in your belly, your surgeon will close your incision.
For laparoscopic spleen removal:
- A laparoscope is an instrument with a tiny camera and a light on the end. It allows your surgeon to see the area through just a small incision. Your surgeon will make three to four small cuts in your belly. The laparoscope will be inserted through one of the cuts. Other medical instruments will be inserted through the other cuts. Gas will be pumped into your belly to expand it. This gives your surgeon more space to work.
- Your surgeon will use the laparoscope and the other instruments to remove your spleen.
- Patients usually recover more quickly from laparoscopic surgery than from open surgery.
- Laparoscopic surgery is not for everyone. Ask your doctor if it may be right for you.
Why the Procedure Is Performed
Some conditions that may require spleen removal are:
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