Splenectomy is used to treat a wide variety of diseases and conditions. Your doctor may recommend splenectomy if you have one of the following:

  • Ruptured spleen. If your spleen ruptures due to a severe abdominal injury or because of an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly), the result may be life-threatening, internal bleeding.
  • Enlarged spleen. A spleen may be removed to ease the symptoms of an enlarged spleen, which include pain and a feeling of fullness.
  • Blood disorder. Blood disorders that may be treated with splenectomy include idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, polycythemia vera, thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. But splenectomy is typically performed only after other treatments have failed to reduce the symptoms of these disorders.
  • Cancer. Cancers that may be treated with splenectomy include chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Hodgkin's lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and hairy cell leukemia.
  • Infection. A severe infection or a large collection of pus surrounded by inflammation (abscess) in your spleen may require spleen removal if it doesn't respond to other treatment.
  • Cyst or tumor. Noncancerous cysts or tumors inside the spleen may require splenectomy if they become large or are difficult to remove completely.

Your doctor may also remove the spleen to help diagnose a condition, especially if you have an enlarged spleen and he or she can't determine why.

July 10, 2015