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Splenectomy is a surgical procedure to remove your spleen — an organ that sits under your rib cage on the left side of your abdomen. The spleen helps fight infection and filters unneeded material, such as old or damaged blood cells. Although your bone marrow produces most of your blood products, the spleen also produces red blood cells and certain types of white blood cells.

The most common reason for splenectomy is to treat a ruptured spleen, often caused by an abdominal injury. Splenectomy may be used to treat other conditions, including enlarged spleen (splenomegaly), some blood disorders, certain cancers, infection, and noncancerous cysts or tumors.

Splenectomy is most commonly performed using a tiny video camera and special surgical tools (laparoscopic splenectomy).

Jul. 20, 2012