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At Lenox Hill Surgeons, our dedicated team of nyc surgeons and medical professionals provide compassionate care with the highest ethical & professional standards. In our state of the art facility, we offer surgical services using only the most cutting edge and current procedures and treatments.We specialize in general surgery, including extensive experience in performing hernia repair surgery. Our expertise is in minimally invasive surgery and robotic surgery. Minimally invasive and robotic surgery often allow patients to experience easier recovery than traditional open surgery. They also allow for more precise and less traumatic surgery. When robotic and minimally invasive surgery is not an option, we are also skilled and experienced in traditional open surgical procedures.
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Do you have spleen problems? The spleen is a soft, spongy organ that rests under your rib cage in the upper left portion of the abdomen toward the back. The spleen is normally equal to the size of the fist and is an integral part of the lymph system. This small organ defends your body in multiple ways.
Sometimes, the spleen gets larger than its size, which may affect either of the functions it performs. As a result, the enlarged spleen or splenomegaly, starts filtering not only the damaged blood cells but also the healthy cells in your bloodstream. This causes a reduction in the number of normal blood cells in your body.
Also, the excessive red blood cells and platelets may obstruct your spleen and affect the functioning adversely. Sometimes, a physical examination may not be enough to feel the spleen. However, certain diseases may result in a swollen and enlarged spleen. It is important to know that an enlarged spleen does not always indicate a problem. Rather, it might signal an overactive spleen.
Sometimes, an enlarged spleen causes no signs or clear symptoms. However, some people may experience discomfort or pain in the upper left side of the abdomen radiating to the left shoulder. Your spleen may become so large that it presses on your stomach. As a result, you may feel full without eating or only eating a small amount.
When the enlarged spleen exerts pressure on the other organs, it affects the blood flow to the spleen. Thus, the spleen may not be able to work actively. The removal of too many blood cells due to abnormal spleen functioning may cause anemia. Also, the low count of white blood cells may expose you to infections more often.
The enlargement of the spleen may cause several infections and diseases. Some of the main causes of enlarged spleen include:
A ruptured spleen may cause bleeding in the abdominal activity that may prove fatal. It is paramount to get medical help for the enlargement of the spleen. You can’t afford to leave an enlarged spleen untreated as it may lead you to serious medical issues.
Most of the times, treating the root cause of spleen enlargement may help evade the removal of the spleen. For instance, if the spleen enlargement is a result of an infection, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Shrinking the spleen through radiation may save you from spleen removal.
However, if the doctor fails to identify the main culprit, or the case is severe, then the surgeon may remove the spleen through splenectomy. For the procedure, the doctors prefer minimally invasive surgery to open surgery. Hence, for removing the spleen, the surgeon marks several small incisions. With the help of laparoscopy, the doctor then removes the enlarged spleen.
You are required to be extra cautious after the spleen removal surgery as it makes you susceptible to contract infections more often. Hence, you may not be able to fight the bacteria effectively. However, vaccines, certain medicines, and antibiotics may help reduce the risk of infection post-surgery.
Your spleen is a small but integral organ of your body, and the enlargement of spleen may have drastic effects on the functioning of it. Therefore, it is vital to your health to seek professional help for your major and minor spleen problems.
Contact Lenox Hill Surgeons today and schedule an appointment with the best surgeons in NYC for spleen removal.
Surgical excision of the spleen or splenectomy becomes imperative when this vital immunologic organ becomes diseased or cancerous or is damaged due to an injury or wound. You could also be a potential candidate of splenectomy if you suffer from an acute blood disorder (polycythemia vera, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, hemolytic anemia or sickle cell anemia) or have a ruptured or enlarged spleen resulting from trauma. Since the spleen is a vital cog in the immunity system, helping to combat diseases and removing worn-out and damaged cells from the bloodstream, its absence could leave you vulnerable to infections.
As removal of the spleen compromises the healthy functioning of your immunological system, you’ll need to take prophylactic antibiotics and vaccines on a regular basis.
A spleen operation is either performed as an open surgery mode or laparoscopically. In open surgery, the surgeon makes a long and broad cut across the left side of the abdomen, and after that excises the spleen. The opening is then ligatured using sterilized catgut. Open splenectomy is suitable for patients with a swollen or ruptured spleen; those with disfigured splenic tissues from past surgeries, and those who are overweight.
The procedure for laparoscopic splenectomy is nearly the same as the traditional technique only that the former is more advanced. This surgical technique entails the insertion of a laparoscope via a few tiny cuts or keyhole incisions made in the abdomen. A high-resolution video camera attached at the laparoscope’s head transmits images of the spleen and the surrounding area to a large VDU.
The surgeon based on the transmitted images channels small surgical tools inside the highlighted area for cutting off the spleen. The incisions are then sewn up.
Splenectomy is usually the last resort to get rid of an infected or dysfunctional spleen. As the surgery can considerably weaken the immune system, the operation should be carried out only on an emergency basis. Nevertheless, a spleen surgery can help mitigate a range of health problems including but not limited to benign or malignant cysts, infection, and blood disorders that may not be treatable through other techniques.
The risks or complications about a splenectomy usually involve:
Before the surgery, you’ll be recommended to stop taking specific medicinal supplements and medicines. At the same time, you may have to refrain from consuming foods and water. You also may have to go for blood transfusion, (depending on the state of your health) to make sure that you do not become deficient in blood after the operation. You’ll be inoculated with a pneumococcal vaccine to minimize risks of infection once your spleen is expunged.
You’ll stay in the hospital for about a week following the surgery and depend upon the severity of the complication; complete convalescence might take 5-7 weeks. In the long term, you’ll tend to stay healthy but will remain vulnerable to particular infections and to alleviate the chances of outbreak you’ll have to take prophylactic antibiotics and inoculations lifelong. For more details on how Spleen surgery can be beneficial for you, you can consult our specialists by making an appointment.