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Who needs a splenectomy?

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You may need to have your spleen removed if you have an injury that damages the organ, causing its covering to break open, or rupture. A ruptured spleen can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding. Common injury-related causes of a ruptured spleen include car accidents and severe blows to the abdomen during contact sports, such as football or hockey. A splenectomy may also be recommended if you have cancer involving the spleen or certain diseases that affect blood cells. Certain conditions can cause the spleen to swell, making the organ more fragile and susceptible to rupture. In some cases, an illness, such as sickle cell disease, can cause the spleen to shrivel up and stop functioning. This is called an auto-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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What are other common reasons for 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.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

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