Removing an infected spleen

Splenectomy

Liver resection is a treatment for benign and malignant growths in the liver, carried out through open surgery and keyhole surgery; robotic operations are sometimes possible.

About

The spleen may need to be removed if it has become damaged, diseased or enlarged. This can be done using keyhole surgery, referred to as laparoscopically, which is less invasive than open surgery.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    Spleen removal, or splenectomy, is usually done using keyhole surgery. This involves being put under general anaesthetic, before three to four small cuts are made in the tummy. The instruments used to detach and remove the spleen are introduced through these cuts. Depending on the size of the spleen, it may be necessary to remove it using more invasive open surgery. Your consultant will advise on the best procedure prior to surgery. Your surgeon may use stitches or glue on the cuts. Patients are generally required to remain as inpatients for one to two days, longer if it has been done in conjunction with resection of another organ (liver or pancreas).
  • How to prepare icon plus

    You'll be advised not to eat or drink prior to surgery requiring a general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will tell you if there are any special preparations you need to make prior to keyhole surgery. As the spleen is important in fighting infection, not having a spleen could expose you to bacterial infection. You may be given vaccinations a few weeks before (or after the operation if it has not been carried out as an elective procedure).
  • Afterwards icon plus

    You'll feel sore and be bruised after keyhole surgery and will be given pain relief medication. Because the spleen is important in fighting infection, some patients may also need to be on a lifelong prescription of antibiotics. This decision will be made by your consultant. You should be able to eat and drink as normal soon after the procedure.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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