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A splenectomy is a surgical procedure to remove a patient's spleen. Although the spleen has a role in filtering blood and removing dead red blood cells, a functioning spleen is not necessary in a patient and it can be removed freely either to treat pathologies of the spleen or to treat other conditions.

A splenectomy is indicated for:

  • Enlarged spleen
  • To diagnose certain types of lymphomas
  • To treat wandering spleen, a condition where the spleen detaches from one part of the body and attaches to another part.
  • To treat thrombocytopenic pupura, such as Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
  • If the spleen has been damaged by trauma, as bleeding from the spleen will continue without abatement
  • If the spleen has ruptured
  • To treat certain types of porphyria
  • If cancer, particularly cancer of the stomach, spreads to the spleen
  • To harvest the artery for use to repair an artery in the kidney

Nowadays, most splenectomies are done laproscopically, with open incision only being used in cases of trauma or enlargement.

Splenectomies usually have few or no side effects. However, they may make the patient somewhat more succeptible to diseases that affect red blood cells in large quantities, such as malaria

Splenectomy at Wikipedia

Laparoscopic Splenectomy09:34

Laparoscopic Splenectomy


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