Treatment for a ruptured spleen will depend on your condition. Some people with ruptured spleens require immediate surgery. In other situations, a ruptured spleen may heal with rest and time.
Hospitalization while the spleen heals
Many small and many moderate-sized injuries to the spleen can heal without surgery. You're likely to stay in the hospital while doctors observe your condition and provide nonsurgical care, such as blood transfusions, if necessary.
Your doctor may recommend periodic follow-up CT scans to ensure that your spleen has healed.
Surgery to repair or remove the spleen
Surgery for a ruptured spleen can include:
- Surgery to repair the spleen. Your surgeon may be able to repair the rupture in your spleen with stitches.
- Surgery to remove part of the spleen. If your spleen is ruptured in a way that makes it possible to remove only a portion of it, your surgeon may perform a procedure called a partial (subtotal) splenectomy.
- Surgery to remove the spleen (splenectomy). You don't need a spleen to survive. But being without your spleen increases your risk of serious infections. Your doctor may recommend ways to reduce your risk of infection.
Surgery to repair or remove the spleen is usually done through several small incisions in your abdomen (laparoscopic surgery). Special surgical tools and a camera lens with a light are inserted through the incisions. The camera sends images to a monitor, which the surgeon watches in order to guide the surgical tools. In certain situations, the surgeon may use a large incision to access the spleen.
April 10, 2013
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- Gannon EH, et al. Splenic injuries in athletes: A review. Current Sports Medicine Reports. 2010;9:111.
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- Townsend CM, et al. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1565/0.html. Accessed Jan. 12, 2013.
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- AskMayoExpert. What should be done before splenectomy? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2012.
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