Splenectomy

Indication
There are two categories of indications for splenectomy. In some situations the spleen is diseased (Hodgkin’s lymphoma, splenic cysts or abscesses) or injured (trauma) whereas in other situations the spleen is removing more blood cells than it should (certain leukemias and lymphomas, certain blood clotting problems and some red blood cell abnormalities).

Preoperative Evaluation
This varies depending upon the indication. Most patients will require several blood tests as well as a CAT scan. With leukemias and some lymphomas, most patients will require a sampling of their bone marrow.

Procedure
The entire spleen is removed and the abdomen is inspected for any additional collections of splenic tissue (accessory spleens) which, if present, are also removed.

Length of Stay
Variable depending upon overall patient health however the average is about five days.

Recovery
4 to 6 weeks with no driving for 2 weeks and no lifting over 10 pounds for 6 weeks. Patients must receive certain immunizations and follow strict antibiotic precautions after surgery.