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Normal anatomy:

The spleen is an organ involved in the production and maintenance of red blood cells, the production of certain circulating white blood cells, as a part of the lymph system, and as a part of the immune system.


Normal anatomy


Indications:

Guidelines for splenectomy include:

  • congenital or acquired hemolytic anemia
  • idiopathic thrombocytopenia
  • trauma to the spleen
  • lymphoma, leukemia, Hodgkin's disease
  • portal hypertension and hypersplenism
  • hereditary spherocytosis

Indications


Incision:

General anesthesia is used. The patient is in deep sleep and pain free. The surgeon makes an incision in the abdomen.


Incision


Procedure:

The surgeon locates and isolates the spleen, rotates it and brings it out of the wound. Its attachments to other organs are gently cut. In children, following traumatic injury and splenic disruption, a healthy fragment of the spleen may be reimplanted. Such fragments provide continued splenic function.


Procedure


Aftercare:

The outcome varies with the underlying disease and extent of other injuries. Complete recovery from surgery should be anticipated. Recovery from the operation should be rapid. Hospitalization should be less than a week, and complete healing should occur within 3 to 4 weeks.


Aftercare



Review Date: 5/15/2008
Reviewed By: Robert A. Cowles, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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