Splenectomy or removal of the spleen is occasionally needed for trauma if the spleen is ruptured and bleeding. Most patients who have a splenectomy need it because they have a hemoglobin disease (hemoglobinopathy) like hereditary spherocytosis or sickle cell disease. In these diseases, the spleen may need to be removed if it consumes red blood cells at a rate that causes the patient to have a symptomatic anemia.
Usually, removal of the spleen is easily accomplished using a laparoscopic (minimally invasive technique). Since the spleen helps to fight certain types of infection, patients who need a scheduled splenectomy should be appropriately vaccinated by their pediatrician or hematologist before surgery.
Learn more about other hemotology disorders