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Splenectomy in Chembur

The surgery partially or completely removed the spleen is called a splenectomy. The spleen is essential for the immune system due to its ability to quickly destroy encapsulated bacteria. 

Where is the spleen located and what are its functions?

The spleen is located in the upper-left abdomen, behind your left rib cage. It helps protect you against infection by filtering out harmful substances, such as an old or dangerous red-blood-cell count. Spleen is about the size of our fist and it has several functions such as:

  • Removes or filters old and damaged blood cells
  • Produces antibodies that help fight infection
  • Stores blood cells
  • Maintains the level of fluid in our body

Why would you need to have your spleen removed?

There are several factors which might cause the need to remove the spleen, some of them are listed below:

  • Due to certain types of cancer
  • Blood disorders: These include idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and autoimmune hemolytic anaemia. 
  • Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly): Splenectomy may be needed to determine the cause of the enlarged spleen or to treat symptoms such as pain and early satiety.
  • Hypersplenism: An enlarged spleen may become overactive and start destroying too many blood cells and platelets.
  • Trauma: Although many cases can be treated without removal of the spleen, a splenectomy can be performed if bleeding can’t be controlled. 
  • Infection: Splenic Abscess.

What are the long-term risks of a splenectomy?

There is one particular risk that is associated with splenectomy, which is overwhelming post-splenectomy infection. But this condition can be avoided as there are various vaccines available to protect against the main types of bacteria which might create complications.