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Spleen Removal - Why Is It Performed In Kids?

Written and reviewed by
M.Ch - Paediatric Surgery, MBBS, MS - General Surgery
Pediatric Surgeon, Hyderabad  •  25 years experience
Spleen Removal - Why Is It Performed In Kids?

Splenectomy is an operation conducted to remove the spleen. The spleen plays a vital role in building immunity against bacterial infections, located in the uppermost area of the left hand side of the abdomen, just below the diaphragm. There are some specific requirements with regard to the immunizations as well as blood work that might need to be completed before this surgery takes place.

Why is Splenectomy need to be performed?
There are a number of chronic illnesses like Hereditary Spherocytosis or Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, which make it a necessity to get a child’s spleen removed. Though it is a rare case but still any kind of trauma to the spleen along with uncontrolled bleeding can create a very serious situation, wherein an emergency might arise to get the spleen removed immediately.

Immunization of child before the operation
Before the surgery of Splenectomy is conducted, immunizations are given to children as a preventive against some specific kinds of infections that are most common for patients to arise after having undergone the surgery of Splenectomy.

How is the surgery performed?
The paediatric surgeon, who performs the surgery, need not require making a large incision for going about the process of operation. In most of the instances, a splenectomy is performed in the following manner, which includes:

  • A laparoscopic way through which a Paediatric Surgeon makes use of a small telescope along with some instruments of miniaturized nature, while placing them through small band-aid sized cuts on the abdomen.
  • The operation gets completed within three hours
  • At the time of hospitalization, a child would receive intravenous fluids, antibiotics as well medicines to get relieve from any kind of pain.
  • As and when the child feels as if he or she is fit enough, he or she would be allowed to eat, drink and also take medicines by mouth.

Essentials after the Surgery
After the surgery has taken place and the child returns home after a couple of days, there are certain essentials that require to be kept in mind:

  • Pain Management: Management of pain is the very first thing which should be kept in mind. The medicines prescribed by doctor for dealing with pain are not required after getting discharged from the hospital.
  • Most of the children would only need Acetaminophen or Ibuprophen once they get back home.
  • Care for Dressings: One may remove the gauze and clear plastic, which are placed over the small cuts, a couple of days after the surgery. The skin that surrounds the incision might have a reddish tinge and look bruised, which can last for few weeks.
  • Restrictions related to Activities: There are no real restrictions with regard to the resumption o regular activities. A child can go back to school as and when he or she feels totally comfortable.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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