BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuSpleen removalSplenectomy; Laparoscopic splenectomy; Spleen removal - laparoscopicSpleen removal is surgery to remove a diseased or damaged spleen. This surgery is called splenectomy.The spleen is in the upper part of the belly, on the left side underneath the ribcage. The spleen helps the body fight germs and infections. It also helps filter the blood. Description The spleen is removed while you are under general anesthesia (asleep and pain-free). The surgeon may do either an open splenectomy or a laparoscopic splenectomy.General anesthesiaGeneral anesthesia is treatment with certain medicines that puts you into a deep sleep so you do not feel pain during surgery. After you receive the...Read Article Now Book Mark Article During open spleen removal:The surgeon makes a cut (incision) in the middle of the belly or on the left side of the belly just below the ribs. The spleen is located and removed. If you are also being treated for cancer, lymph nodes in the belly are examined. They may also be removed. The incision is closed using stitches or staples. During laparoscopic spleen removal:The surgeon makes 3 or 4 small cuts in the belly. The surgeon inserts an instrument called a laparoscope through one of the cuts. The scope has a tiny camera and light on the end, which allows the surgeon to see inside the belly. Other instruments are inserted through the other cuts. A harmless gas is pumped into the belly to expand it. This gives the surgeon room to work. The surgeon uses the scope and other instruments to remove the spleen. The scope and other instruments are removed. The incisions are closed using stitches or staples. With laparoscopic surgery, recovery is often faster and less painful than with open surgery. Talk to your surgeon about which type of surgery is right for you or your child. Why the Procedure Is Performed Conditions that may require spleen removal include:Abscess or cyst in the spleen. AbscessAn abscess is a collection of pus in any part of the body. In most cases, the area around an abscess is swollen and inflamed.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Blood clot (thrombosis) in the blood vessels of the spleen. Blood clotBlood clots are clumps that occur when blood hardens from a liquid to a solid. A blood clot that forms inside one of your veins or arteries is calle...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis of the liverCirrhosis is scarring of the liver and poor liver function. It is the last stage of chronic liver disease.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Diseases or disorders of blood cells, such as idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP), hereditary spherocytosis, thalassemia, hemolytic anemia, and hereditary elliptocytosis. These are all rare conditions. Idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpuraImmune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) is a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets, which are necessary for normal blood clot...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Hereditary spherocytosisHereditary spherocytic anemia is a rare disorder of the surface layer (membrane) of red blood cells. It leads to red blood cells that are shaped lik...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Hemolytic anemiaAnemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues. Normally, red ...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Hereditary elliptocytosisHereditary elliptocytosis is a disorder passed down through families in which the red blood cells are abnormally shaped. It is similar to other bloo...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Hypersplenism (overactive spleen). HypersplenismHypersplenism is an overactive spleen. The spleen is an organ found in the upper left side of your abdomen. The spleen helps filter old and damaged...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Cancer of the lymph system such as Hodgkin disease. Hodgkin diseaseHodgkin lymphoma is a cancer of lymph tissue. Lymph tissue is found in the lymph nodes, spleen, liver, bone marrow, and other sites.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Leukemia. Other tumors or cancers that affect the spleen. Sickle cell anemia. Sickle cell anemiaSickle cell disease is a disorder passed down through families. The red blood cells that are normally shaped like a disk take on a sickle or crescen...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Splenic artery aneurysm (rare). Trauma to the spleen. Risks Risks for anesthesia and surgery in general are:Reactions to medicines Breathing problems Breathing problemsBreathing difficulty may involve:Difficult breathing Uncomfortable breathingFeeling like you are not getting enough airImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Bleeding, blood clots, infection Risks for this surgery include:Blood clot in the portal vein (an important vein that carries blood to the liver) Collapsed lung Hernia at the surgical cut site HerniaA hernia is a sac formed by the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). The sac comes through a hole or weak area in the strong layer of the be...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Increased risk for infection after splenectomy (children are at higher risk than adults for infection) Injury to nearby organs, such as the pancreas, stomach, and colon Pus collection under the diaphragm Risks are the same for both open and laparoscopic spleen removal. Before the Procedure You or your child will have many visits with health care providers and several tests before surgery. You may have:A complete physical exam Immunizations, such as the pneumococcal, meningococcal, Haemophilus influenzae, and flu vaccines Screening blood tests, special imaging tests, and other tests to make sure you are healthy enough to have surgery Transfusions to receive extra red blood cells and platelets, if you need them If you smoke, you should try to stop. Smoking increases your risk for problems such as slow healing. Ask your provider for help quitting.Tell the provider:If you are, or might be pregnant. What medicines, vitamins, and other supplements you or your child is taking, even ones that were bought without a prescription.During the week before surgery:You or your child may need to temporarily stop taking blood thinners. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), clopidogrel (Plavix), vitamin E, and warfarin (Coumadin). Ask the surgeon which drugs you or your child should still take on the day of surgery.On the day of surgery:Follow instructions about when you or your child should stop eating or drinking. Take the drugs the surgeon told you or your child to take with a small sip of water. Arrive at the hospital on time. After the Procedure You or your child will spend less than a week in the hospital. The hospital stay may be only 1 or 2 days after a laparoscopic splenectomy. Healing will likely take 4 to 6 weeks.After going home, follow instructions on taking care of yourself or your child.Taking care of yourselfYou had surgery to remove your spleen. This operation is called splenectomy. Now that you're going home, follow your health care provider's instruc...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Your childYour child had surgery to remove the spleen. Now that your child is going home, follow the surgeon's instructions on how to care for your child at h...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Outlook (Prognosis) The outcome of this surgery depends on what disease or injuries you or your child has. People who do not have other severe injuries or medical problems often recover after this surgery.After the spleen is removed, a person is more likely to develop infections. Talk with your provider about getting needed vaccinations, particularly the yearly flu vaccine. Children may need to take antibiotics to prevent infections. Most adults do not need antibiotics long-term.Open ReferencesReferencesBrandow AM, Camitta BM. Hyposplenism, splenic trauma, and splenectomy. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 514.Liveris A, Muscarella P. Management of cysts, tumors, and abscesses of the spleen. In: Cameron JL, Cameron AM, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:612-616.Nassar AK, Hawn M. The spleen. In: Townsend CM, Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 57.AllVideoImagesTogRed blood cells, target cells - illustration These abnormal red blood cells (RBCs) resemble targets. These cells are seen in association with some forms of anemia, and following the removal of the spleen (splenectomy).Red blood cells, target cellsillustrationSpleen removal - seriesPresentation Red blood cells, target cells - illustration These abnormal red blood cells (RBCs) resemble targets. These cells are seen in association with some forms of anemia, and following the removal of the spleen (splenectomy).Red blood cells, target cellsillustration Spleen removal - seriesPresentation Related Information Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)(Condition)Hemolytic anemia(Condition)Hereditary spherocytic anemia(Condition)Hodgkin lymphoma(Condition)Surgical wound care - open(Self-Care)When you have nausea and vomiting(Self-Care)Spleen removal - child - discharge(Discharge)Laparoscopic spleen removal in adults - discharge(Discharge)Open spleen removal in adults - discharge(Discharge)Hodgkin disease(In-Depth)Sickle cell disease(In-Depth) Review Date: 3/15/2021 Reviewed By: Debra G. Wechter, MD, FACS, General Surgery Practice Specializing in Breast Cancer, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.Content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and Google Chrome browser.