The spleen is located in the upper left side of your abdomen and inside your left rib cage. It filters your blood and provides immunity against various infections.
Generally, your spleen is more likely to suffer damages due to various abdominal injuries. You may require splenectomy to remove such injured spleen.
A damaged spleen may cause splenomegaly, acute abdominal pain, blood disorders, splenic trauma, congestive disorders, anaemia, cancers, and tumours.
Haematological disease is the blood disorder that often involves inflammation and malfunctioning of spleen and the patient may need to undergo splenectomy.
You must follow some procedures, which is normal for any kind of surgeries, to prepare for the splenectomy.
Webop is an e-learning platform created and developed at the Department of Surgery of the Witten/Herdecke University, Germany.
It provides online reference on splenectomy and other surgeries to educate and demonstrate real-life operational settings for surgeons and medical students.
Table of Contents
Let us understand the complete procedure involved in surgical removal of spleen.
1. Preoperative preparation
The patients must be vaccinated 1 to 3 weeks before the scheduled operation to protect the patients against any surgical and non-surgical infections.
Initially, the surgeon will examine the anatomy and physiology of the spleen to find the right operative method and location of incision. Before surgery, the patient is made to lie on a table in the supine position.
Later, the surgeon will give an anaesthetic to the patient in the form of inhalable gas or injectable liquid to make you unconscious.
The surgical staffs will monitor the heart rate, blood pressure, and other parameters of the patient. Equipment like arterial lines, nasogastric tube, and sequential compression devices are properly aligned.
2. Operative procedure
Depending upon the size of the spleen, the surgeon chooses either a traditional open procedure or a less invasive laparoscopic procedure for the surgical removal of the spleen.
In open splenectomy, the surgeon makes a midline incision in the middle of your abdomen or a left subcostal incision to inspect all the four quadrants of the abdomen.
The gastrocolic ligament is then cut to enter into the lesser sac. The splenic artery and the vein are ligated to minimize the blood loss.
A complete mobilization is performed from caudal to cranial. This is done to avoid any damage to the capsule and the blood loss.
The gastrosplenic and splenocolic ligaments, including the short gastric vessels, are dissected between the ligatures. Now, the spleen is removed.
In laparoscopic splenectomy, the surgeon makes four tiny incisions in the abdomen. A tube with a camera is passed into the abdomen through one of the incisions.
The abdomen and the spleen are inspected with the help of this camera. Special laparoscopic tools are inserted through the other three incisions to remove the spleen.
After removing the spleen, a precise inspection is carried out for the surgical abdomen regions, blood loss, and drainage. Finally, the entire surgical incisions are closed.
3. Postoperative procedure
After splenectomy surgery, the patient is kept under observation for a week or less depending upon the surgical method.
The patient may be discharged with few prescribed medications for quick recovery. They must wait and take bed-rest for 4 to 6 weeks before resuming their daily activities.