Dr. Ferzli's Procedures
Specializing in Minimally-Invasive Surgery
The spleen is an organ in the left side of the abdomen next to the stomach, just below the diaphragm. It is normally the size of a clenched fist. One of the functions of the spleen is to filter foreign materials and old red blood cells from the bloodstream. It also has an important role in the body's immune function.
There are a number of disorders that may require removal of the spleen (splenectomy). Among these are certain disorders that cause excessive destruction of the red blood cells in the spleen. Other diseases cause destruction of platelets, cells that help blood to clot. Certain types of lymphoma or leukemia may require splenectomy. The artery that feeds the spleen can become dangerously dilated (splenic artery aneurysm) and the spleen may need to be removed to prevent rupture. A variety of other medical problems exist that may lead to splenectomy.
Traditional splenectomy requires a long midline or left upper abdominal incision, resulting in substantial pain and discomfort as well as a prolonged recovery period for the patient. Today splenectomy can be performed using laparoscopy. This involves several small incisions through which the surgery is performed. The organ is usually removed through one of these incisions. Patients are able to eat soon after surgery and usually go home within two days of surgery. Return to regular activity is much easier and earlier than with traditional open surgery.
For further information, you can ask Dr. Ferzli.