Splenectomy is the surgical procedure where the spleen is removed. The position of the spleen is just under the left rib cage. It is present near the stomach. The main function of the spleen is to combat the infections and filter out the old and damaged blood cells and numerous other functions. Now, you must be thinking that if it is such an important organ then why to remove it. Well, the main reason behind spleen removal is when there is a disease involving the spleen, or if the spleen is ruptured due to trauma and is bleeding inside.
This procedure can be done by a key hole technique called laparoscopic splenectomy.
Why is laparoscopic splenectomy done?
The main reasons because of which laparoscopic splenectomy is done are as follows:
What happens during a laparoscopic splenectomy?
After you have been given an anesthesia, the surgeon will insert the laparoscope into your abdomen by making an incision. Through another incision, carbon dioxide gas is inserted into the abdomen so that the surgeon gets some space to work. After that, the spleen is disconnected from the neighboring organs and is removed. After the completion of the process, the incisions are closed.Sometimes a drain tube may be left to allow for drainage of fluid from the surgical site.This is usually removed in a few days.
What are the post-operative precautions after splenectomy?
Laparoscopic splenectomy is generally a safe operation if done for elective indications.In an emergency setting like in a trauma with massive bleeding, it is done as a life-saving procedure.
The spleen plays an important role in the development of immunity.SO splenectomy is generally avoided in children unless absolutely essential.The patient is given certain vaccines one week prior to the operation.After the removal of the spleen, one has to be careful about minor infections like a sore throat and fever, These can flare up suddenly.This is usually important in children.In adults, the chance of such serious infections is quite rare.
Authored By Dr G Parthasarathy - Surgical Gastroenterologist, Hyderabad