Your doctor has recommended that you undergo a Splenectomy - or spleen removal surgery. But what does that actually mean?
The spleen is one of the organs in your body that works to clean your blood.
The Spleen is located behind the stomach... and to the left of the liver.
Specifically, the spleen picks out and destroys red blood cells that are no longer useful.
A Splenectomy is the surgical procedure used to permanently remove the spleen from the body.
Reasons for removing the spleen vary. Most spleen removal surgery is performed in an emergency situation, during which internal bleeding may be putting a patient's life at risk.
This program assumes, however, that you are not currently in an emergency setting. In your case, the reason for removing the Spleen may be to treat a blood disease, blood congestion, Gaucher's disease, white blood cell deficiency, the growth of a tumor, or the growth of cysts.
Occasionally the Spleen is removed as part of an action taken to determine the best course of treatment for Hodgkin's disease.
After allowing a few minutes for the anesthetic to take effect, a small incision is made above the umbilicus; then, a hollow needle will be inserted through the abdominal wall.
And the abdomen will be inflated with carbon dioxide.
An umbilical port is created for the laparoscope.
One or more incisions will be made, with care taken to keep the openings as small as possible.
Once in place, the laparoscope will provide video images, that allow the surgeon to carefully cut the ligaments that connect the spleen to the diaphragm as well as the spleen to the colon.
Now the doctor can gently pull the liver aside...
then pull back the stomach to reveal the spleen.
All remaining tissue between the spleen and the stomach including small blood vessels, as well as the spleen and diaphragm are cut.
The main vessels that supply blood to the spleen - the splenic artery and the splenic vein are closed off and cut.
Finally, the spleen is maneuvered into a special retrieval bag where it is broken into smaller pieces...
and removed through one of the laparoscopic working ports.
All of the instruments are withdrawn...
the carbon dioxide is allowed to escape...
and the skin is closed with sutures or staples.
Finally, sterile dressings are applied.