Splenectomy

A splenectomy is the surgical removal of the spleen, a small hand-sized organ situated in front of the left kidney and behind the stomach. The spleen acts like a large lymph node, helping to maintain a healthy immune system and cleaning the blood of foreign matter.

Splenectomy removal like every surgery this is also having some potential risk like, bleeding, blood clots, infection and injury to other organs nearby, including your stomach, pancreas and colon.

A laparoscope is a device with a key-hole camera and a light on the end. It allows your surgeon to see the area through just a small cut. Your surgeon will make 3 to 4 small cuts in your belly. The laparoscope will be inserted through one of the cuts. Other medical instruments will be inserted through the other cuts. Gas (caibondioxide) will be pumped into your belly to expand it. This gives your surgeon more space to work. Your surgeon will use the laparoscope and the other instruments to remove your spleen. Patients usually recover more quickly from laparoscopic surgery than from open surgery.this is normally done with a general anesthesia. Laparoscopic surgery is not for everyone. Ask Dr.K.N.Srikanth, if it may be right for you.

Immediately following surgery, patients are given instructions for incision care and medications intended to prevent infection. Blood transfusions may be indicated for some patients to replace defective blood cells. The most important part of aftercare, however, is long-term caution regarding vulnerability to infection. Patients are asked to see their doctor at once if they have a fever or any other sign of infection, and to avoid travel to areas where exposure to malaria or similar diseases is likely. Children with splenectomies may be kept on antibiotic therapy until they are 16 years old. You can normally cope with most infections without a spleen. The spleen is just one part of the immune (defence) system. Other parts of the immune system protect against most bacteria, viruses, and other germs.All patients can be given a booster dose of pneumococcal vaccine five to 10 years after undergoing a splenectomy.

Recovery from the operation itself is fairly rapid. Hospitalization is usually less than a week (one to two days for laparoscopic splenectomy), and complete healing usually occurs within four to six weeks. Patients are encouraged to return to such normal activities as showering, driving, climbing stairs, light lifting and work as soon as they feel comfortable. Some patients may return to work in a few days while others prefer to rest at home a little longer.

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