Spleen is an important organ located in the left upper part of the abdomen. It has many functions including production of cell for the immune system, removal of abnormal blood cells, and storage of normal blood cells. An enlarged spleen or a malfunctioning spleen can be the cause of excessive destruction of blood cells. In conditions like idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, removal of the spleen is the most definitive way to reverse this destructive process.
Removal of the spleen, called splenectomy, has been traditionally performed through a large incision in the upper part of the abdomen. Using the laparoscopic approach, splenectomy can be performed through three to four small incisions with reduced pain and quicker recovery. Patients typically spend one night in the hospital and return to full activities within 7-10 days.