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Splenectomy: Why would they remove your spleen?

May 23, 2013
Image Source: webmd.com

Image Source: webmd.com

It acts as the immune system’s surveillance machine, filtering the blood for any alien organism which might have escaped into the stream. It also acts as the circulatory system’s recycling factory, harnessing dying red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, and stores it. With these core functions, the spleen is no doubt an important organ. So why is there a procedure called splenectomy, or the surgical removal of the spleen?

There are different recognized indications of splenectomy. Here are some of the most common reasons:

Blunt trauma

Blunt trauma is not considered to be an emergent reason for the performance of splenectomy, especially if there is no evidence of intra-abdominal injuries, during which non-operative support is preferred. However, splenectomy is performed in cases of intraperitoneal blood accumulation (over 1,000 ml of blood in the peritoneal cavity), concurrently necessitating aggressive blood transfusions and hemodynamic disequilibrium.

Hematologic diseases

There are times when surgeons collaborate with hematologists and oncologists in the case management of a patient with spleen problems. When these doctors find serious hematologic conditions, such as hereditary spherocytosis (production of abnormally shaped red blood cells), thalassemia major (a form of anemia where red blood cells break down), and immune thrombocytopenic purpura (clinical syndrome resulting from a decreased number of circulating platelets), which often lead to the enlargement of destruction of the spleen, then they might recommend the performance of splenectomy.

Image Source: mayoresearch.mayo.edu

Image Source: mayoresearch.mayo.edu

Intraoperative injury

There are times when the spleen is inadvertently injured during the course of other surgical procedures, especially those that involve the distal esophagus, stomach, pancreas, and colon. If the injury results to persistent bleeding which does not respond to hemostatic agents and electrocautery, then splenectomy might be necessitated.

Image Source: healthtap.com

Image Source: healthtap.com

If you manifest any of the above indications and you are in need of splenectomy, you may check out Satori World Medical’s Global Network. More information on the procedures performed under the world-class network can be found on this website.

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