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What is a splenectomy?

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A splenectomy is surgery to remove the entire spleen, a delicate, fist-sized organ that sits under the left rib cage near the stomach. The spleen is an important part of the body's defense (immune) system. If only part of the spleen is removed, the procedure is called a partial splenectomy.

From: Splenectomy WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Family Doctor.org: "Splenectomy."

American Pediatric Surgical Association: "Spleen Problems."

MedlinePlus: "Splenectomy."

Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES): "Patient Information for Laparoscopic Spleen Removal (Splenectomy) from SAGES."

National Library of Medicine: "Spleen diseases." 

Family Doctor.org: "Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura."

National Institutes of Health.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on January 23, 2017

SOURCES:

Family Doctor.org: "Splenectomy."

American Pediatric Surgical Association: "Spleen Problems."

MedlinePlus: "Splenectomy."

Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES): "Patient Information for Laparoscopic Spleen Removal (Splenectomy) from SAGES."

National Library of Medicine: "Spleen diseases." 

Family Doctor.org: "Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura."

National Institutes of Health.

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on January 23, 2017

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Who needs a splenectomy?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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