A splenectomy is a surgical procedure where the spleen is removed. Most of you will have heard of a spleen, but surprisingly few people know where it is or what it does. The spleen is located under the left rib cage, near the stomach. It is a small organ, about the size of a human fist, and it plays an important role in mediating the body’s autoimmune response. The spleen stores white blood cells, which are the frontline of the body’s autoimmune defenses, as when the body detects bacteria or infection it releases white blood cells to fight them. It also plays a role in recycling old red blood cells to ensure that the body’s circulatory system remains healthy.
There are two types of splenectomy: laparoscopic and open surgery. Open surgery is the traditional approach where a large incision is made for the surgeon to gain access to the necessary area. Laparoscopic surgery, on the other hand, is a form of minimally invasive surgery, also known as keyhole surgery, and is designed to minimize both the immediate discomfort of the operation and the time required to recuperate.
Because of the shorter hospital stay required for spleen surgery NYC, laparoscopic surgeries are often preferred by hospitals, as they require far fewer resources and are cheaper overall. Patients also prefer this method for the shorter recuperation period and much lower incidence of side effects and complications.
Unfortunately, not all patients are suitable candidates for laparoscopic surgery; it depends largely on the patient’s health and the nature of the problem with their spleen.
After the surgery, a hospital stay will be required. The duration of this stay is dependant upon the type of surgery the patient has had and how well it went. Those who have had open surgery will require a longer stay, usually a week or so, whereas a laparoscopic patient will require less.
After leaving the hospital, the recuperation period is usually around five weeks. Some patients will be advised to avoid baths during the recuperation period to allow the wound to heal more quickly; showers are usually OK though.
Fortunately, complications from splenectomies are rare and patients can live full lives without their spleen. However, as the spleen is involved in the body’s autoimmune response, once it is removed the patient will become more susceptible to infections. Of particular concern are those that cause pneumonia, meningitis, and influenza.
For a consultation on the most appropriate form of splenectomy for you, drop into one of our spleen surgery NYC clinics for a consultation. Speak with the best general surgeons in NYC.