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Splenectomy is the surgical removal of the spleen. The spleen is an organ approximately the size of the fist that sits in the upper left part of the abdomen just under the diaphragm and behind the stomach. The spleen removes bacteria as well as dead and dying blood cells from the body, creates and stores new red blood cells, and assists in fighting certain types of infections.

Splenectomy: What you need to know

  • The spleen may need to be removed in any of following diseases: acute and chronic leukemia, cysts, primary splenic thrombocytopenia, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), primary splenic neutropenia, Felty's syndrome, Banti's disease, congestive splenomegaly, splenic tumors, splenic artery aneurysms, lymphomas, thrombolytic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), HIV splenomegaly, splenomegaly, splenocytosis, or a variety of anemias.
  • The Minimally Invasive and Robotic Surgery Program at UF Health Jacksonville has been leading the way in advanced techniques. Our surgeons are experienced at laparoscopic surgery and will perform a laparoscopic splenectomy using a laparoscope attached to a video camera that is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen just below the rib cage.
  • The view of the procedure is projected onto video monitors located in the operating room. The abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide to allow the surgeon to have a better view of the surgical area.
  • Two or three smaller incisions are made and other laparoscopic instruments are inserted into the abdomen to remove the spleen. The incisions are closed with sutures and covered with adhesive bandages.
  • Most patients can expect to stay in the hospital for one day. Recovery time is approximately one to two weeks.

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