The spleen and indications for splenectomy

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Abstract

Traditionally, the spleen has been surgically removed with little understanding of the potential consequences; this contribution explains the anatomical relations and numerous functions of the spleen and the potential complications following such an excision. Splenectomy may be undertaken as an emergency or electively; the indications and techniques are discussed, including the increasing use of minimally-invasive surgery and splenic conservation in the emergency setting. Postoperative care and the investigation and treatment of complications are also stated. Ongoing medical care of asplenic patients is considered with the aid of conclusions of the most recent Working Party on the subject.

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