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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.