Splenectomy is the surgical removal of the spleen, a large organ located in the upper left part of the stomach that contains macrophages which are specialized cells that fight against foreign bodies. Splenectomy is indicated in splenomegaly, a condition of enlarged spleen. Patients with splenomegaly may or may not exhibit the symptoms and will be diagnosed by physicians by physical examination or radiological diagnosis. The most common symptoms include abdominal pain, hiccups, weakness, fatigue, frequent infections severe bleeding and difficulty eating large meals.
Laparoscopic splenectomy: Is performed under general anesthesia. It uses a laparoscope, an instrument with a tiny camera and a light at the end. Three to four incisions are made on the abdomen, and the laparoscope is inserted through one of the incisions. The laparoscope allows viewing the area on a bigger screen. Other surgical instruments are inserted through the other incisions. Gas is pumped to expand the abdomen to give more space to work. The spleen is removed using the laparoscope and other instruments. The small incisions are stitched.
Some of the complications include bleeding, wound infection, pneumonia, injury to surrounding structures and need to convert to an open procedure.