Splenectomy is surgery to remove the spleen. The spleen gets rid of old and damaged red blood cells. Red blood cells may be damaged by a health condition, such as thalassemia or sickle cell disease. When the blood cells pass through the spleen, they are often destroyed. This can leave the body with too few red blood cells.
Some people have their spleen removed to keep from losing too many red blood cells. Other people may need to have it removed if the spleen is injured in a car accident or by another trauma.
The spleen helps the body fight certain types of bacteria. If your spleen is removed, your body will be less able to fight serious infections. So your doctor will suggest that you have:
|Primary Medical Reviewer||E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||Joseph O'Donnell, MD - Hematology, Oncology|
|Last Revised||July 1, 2011|
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