SpleenThe spleen is a solid organ that is located in the upper left side of the abdomen just below the diaphragm – the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. The spleen helps the body's immune function and removes old and damaged blood cells from the circulation.
There are several disorders that can cause the enlargement of the spleen and impair its function: Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP), Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP), Hemolytic Anemia, Lymphoma, Acute and Chonic Leukemia, etc.
Usually, medical therapy is a primary treatment for the spleen disorders. If medical treatment is not successful- surgical removal of the spleen may be recommended (usually this decision is made by a hematologist - a specialist in blood diseases). Before the spleen is removed, special vaccination should be given to protect from certain infections in the future. Otherwise, most people live a normal life without spleen.
The spleen can be removed using an open “conventional” or a laparoscopic approach.
In Open Splenectomy, a large incision at the left subcostal area is done and then the spleen is dissected from the surrounding tissues and removed.
We recommend Laparoscopic Splenectomy, which is the gold standart in modern surgery when splenectomy is required. In Laparoscopic Splenectomy, three or four small (¼ - ½ inch) incisions are used. The abdomen is inflated with carbondioxide. A laparoscope and other long instruments are introduced and then the operation is carried out by dissection and removal of the spleen (usually after degrading it).
The advantages of laparoscopic splenectomy (similarly to other laparoscopic operations) include, but are not limited to: less pain, faster recovery, shorter hospital stay, less likelihood of wound infections or incisional hernias, less internal scarring (adhesions), and better cosmetic results.
The procedure is very safe, but some very rare complications may occur, such as: bleeding, injury to the bowel, stomach, or pancreas. Possible postoperative complications include: post-splenectomy sepsis, which is a serious generalized infection. For its prevention, a special vaccine before the operation should be used.
Usually patients stay in the hospital overnight and resume their normal activities after one or two weeks.
You should contact your surgeon or family doctor if the following appear:
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