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Splenectomy is surgery to remove the
spleen. The spleen gets rid of old and damaged red blood
cells. Red blood cells may be damaged by a health condition, such as
thalassemia or sickle cell disease. When the blood cells pass through the spleen, they are often
destroyed. This can leave the body with too few red blood cells.
Some people have their spleen removed to keep from losing too many red blood cells. Other people may need to have it removed if the spleen is injured in a car accident or by another trauma.
The spleen helps the body fight certain types of bacteria. If your spleen is removed, your body will be less able to fight serious infections. So your doctor will suggest that you have:
Current as of:
June 21, 2013
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Brian Leber, MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology
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