What is Spleen Surgery?
Spleen surgery, referred to in the medical community as splenectomy, is a spleen removal procedure. This procedure was first performed in 1549 and traditionally involved a horizontal or diagonal incision between the ribs and navel. Today, surgeons like Dr. Steven Williams use advanced techniques, like da Vinci robotic surgery to perform splenectomy with smaller incisions and a shorter recovery period.
When is Spleen Surgery Recommended?
Spleen surgery can treat numerous conditions and diseases. It is most often recommended if you have:
- A blood disorder
- An enlarged spleen
- A ruptured spleen
- A severe infection
- A tumor or cyst
How Do You Prepare for Spleen Surgery?
To prepare for spleen surgery, your doctor may ask you to stop taking any drugs or supplements that affect blood clotting temporarily. During your initial consultation, Dr. Williams will provide you with a comprehensive list of everything you need to avoid before your procedure. You should also prepare for your procedure by making sure you're hydrated and well-nourished on the day of your procedure.
What Happens During Spleen Surgery?
Just before your spleen surgery begins, you will be administered a general anesthetic. Once the anesthetic has taken effect, four small incisions will be made in your abdomen. A tiny camera attached to a thin tube will be inserted into one incision and special tools will be inserted into the other three incisions. Then, your abdomen will be inflated using carbon dioxide, your spleen will be removed and the incisions will be closed.
What You Can Expect During Your Recovery Process?
Before You Go Home
After your minimally invasive splenectomy, you will receive IV fluids in your arm and an analgesic to ease any discomfort you may have. After an observation period, you are free to return home. Just make sure you don't drive yourself home; you may not drive within 24 hours of receiving general anesthesia or taking a prescription narcotic.
Once home, you may walk up stairs and shower, but you should not bathe for the first week after your procedure. You can perform a lot of your daily activities, but you should not exert yourself too much. Keep your heart rate under 100 beats per minute and don't lift anything over nine pounds for two weeks after your procedure.
Most people feel up to driving five to seven days after their procedure. Just remember to wait at least 24 hours since the last narcotic you took to consider driving.
Schedule an Appointment with the Experts
Splenectomy has been performed per centuries, most notably to remove enlarged spleens. Today, it is performed with small incisions and is recommended for individuals with cancer, tumors or cysts, blood disorders and more. Thanks to advanced technology and innovative techniques, you can drive within five days of your procedure and be fully recovered in just two weeks. To find out if spleen removal is right for you, contact our experts at Capital Surgical Associates in Boise, ID to schedule an appointment.