- What Is It?
- Slenectomy Procedure
- Recovery Time
What is the spleen and what are its functions?
The spleen is an important part of the body's defense (immune) system that is situated under the left rib cage near the stomach. The spleen contains special white blood cells that can destroy bacteria. It helps the body fight infections and also removes old red blood cells from the body's circulation.
Which patients are considered for splenectomy?
The most common disease-related reason for spleen removal is a blood disorder called idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). This is a condition in which antibodies target blood platelets. Platelets are needed to help the blood to clot, so a person with ITP is at risk for bleeding. The spleen is involved in making these antibodies and removing the platelets from the blood. Removing the spleen can be done to help treat the condition. Other common conditions in which splenectomy can be performed are:
- Patients with a severe injury causing it’s covering to break open or rupture (ruptured spleen can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding).
- Patients with spleen cancer and leukemia
- Diseases that affect blood cells (sickle cell disease)
- Rupture in the spleen's artery
- A blood clot in the spleen's blood vessels
- Cyst or abscess (collection of pus) in the spleen
What is laparoscopic splenectomy?
A splenectomy is the total or partial surgical removal of the spleen. Laparoscopy procedure uses smaller surgical cuts. It usually results in less pain, a faster recovery, less risk of infection, small scars, and a shorter hospital stay. Laparoscopic splenectomy has been performed more frequently in recent years, sometimes called keyhole surgery, which is done with smaller surgical instruments inserted through very short incisions, with the assistance of a tiny camera and video monitor. Not everyone can have laparoscopic surgery. The method is usually decided by the doctor depending on overall health and the size of the spleen.
How long does it take to recover from a splenectomy?
Patients who undergo laparoscopic splenectomy are usually sent home sooner. They are usually placed on intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and pain killers. It will take about four to six weeks to recover from the procedure. Patients are usually advised not to take bath till the wounds are healed (sponge cleaning is advised). Activities such as exercises, walking, and driving are restricted at least for six weeks.
What organ takes over after spleen removal?
After splenectomy, the functions of the spleen are usually taken up by other organs, such as the liver, bone marrow, and lymph nodes. Up to 30% of people have a second spleen (called as accessory spleen), these are usually very small but may grow and function when the main spleen is removed. Rarely, a piece of the spleen may break off due to severe injury, such as after a car accident. If the spleen is removed, this piece can grow and function.
What is the outcome after splenectomy?
The outcome of the procedure varies with the underlying disease or the extent of other injuries. Rates of complete recovery from the surgery itself are excellent, in the absence of other severe injuries or medical problems. Studies of patients with ITP show that 80-90% of children achieve spontaneous and complete remission in 2 to 8 weeks. Small percentages develop chronic or persistent ITP however about 60% showed complete remission by 15 years. No deaths in patients older than 15 years have been attributed to ITP.
Latest Digestion News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Laparoscopic splenectomy technique: (https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1829873-technique).
Top Recover From a Splenectomy Operation Related Articles
Boost Digestive HealthUpset stomach? Some foods may be the culprits, and bad habits may be to blame. Treat your body right with these simple nutrition tips on how to deal with with diarrhea, gas, reflux, and more digestive ailments.
Constipation Myths and FactsConstipation results in fewer bowel movements. Laxatives, home remedies, and diet changes may bring constipation relief. Change habits that constipate you and adopt lifestyle changes to benefit your intestines and bowel. Bloating and chronic constipation are relieved with the right medical treatments.
Poop Type and ColorThe different shapes and colors of your stool can tell you something about your health.
Visual Guide to Stomach UlcersLearn about the causes and symptoms of stomach ulcers, and find out which kinds of treatment can help.
Enlarged Spleen (Splenomegaly) Symptoms, Signs, Causes,TreatmentAn enlarged spleen or splenomegaly, is generally caused by other diseases or conditions such as infections, cancers, blood disorders, or decreased blood flow. Symptoms of an enlarged spleen are often unnoticed. A feeling of fullness after eating a small amount of food and not being able to eat large meals may be a symptom of an enlarged spleen. Treatment for an enlarged spleen depends upon the cause.
Spleen PictureFront View of the Spleen. The spleen is an organ in the upper far left part of the abdomen, to the left of the stomach. See a picture of the Spleen and learn more about the health topic.
What Happens if Your Spleen Is Removed?An open splenectomy is a surgery to remove the entire spleen. Unlike a laparoscopic procedure, an open splenectomy requires a larger surgical cut. The spleen contains special white blood cells that can destroy bacteria. It helps the body fight infections and also removes old red blood cells from the body’s circulation. It is usually removed because of a rupture due to physical trauma.
Why Is a Spleen Removed in a Distal Pancreatectomy?A pancreatosplenectomy (pancreaticosplenectomy) or spleen-preserving distal pancreatectomy is performed to surgically treat the pancreatic disease of the tail and body. A distal pancreatectomy involves surgical resection of the body and tail of the pancreas with or without splenectomy. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Complications include pancreatic leak, pancreatic fistula, abdominal abscess, infection, bleeding, small bowel obstruction, new-onset insulin-dependent diabetes, problems with digestion, change in bowel habits, and loss of appetite and weight.