A splenectomy is the removal of the spleen, which is an organ in the upper left abdomen that sits directly underneath the rib cage.

The spleen functions as a filter for your blood and helps to fight germs and infections in the body. A splenectomy is often required for surgical treatment of hematologic blood disorders or other diseases of the spleen.

Conditions that may require removal of the spleen

  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
  • Hypersplenism
  • Leukemia and lymphoma
  • Hodgkin’s disease
  • Abscess or cyst the spleen

In many cases splenectomy can be performed laparoscopically with small incisions in the abdomen. Specialized tools and a small camera are inserted into your stomach to remove the spleen. If the spleen is too large, an open procedure will be required. A hospital stay of several days will be required following the procedure.