Splenectomy
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings
Answers

What is 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 also removes old and damaged blood cells.

Spleen
Spleen
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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 medicines
  • Enlargement of the spleen (splenomegaly)
  • Certain blood disorders
  • Myelofibrosis (abnormal formation of fibrous tissue in the bone marrow)
  • Damage in the blood vessels of the spleen
  • Leukemia or lymphoma
  • Diseased spleen, due to disorders like HIV infection
  • Tumor or abscess in the spleen
  • Liver disease

Possible Complications

If you are planning to have a splenectomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

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

Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

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

Call Your Doctor

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

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
  • Cough , shortness of breath, chest pain, or...
 
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