Personally performed operations (as of 2018): 202
Total of performed visceral operations: over 14.000
The spleen is located in the upper left abdominal area, under the diaphragm. It plays an important role in immune response and the disposal of red blood cells (erythrocytes) and platelets (thrombocytes).
A complete or partial removal of the spleen is sometimes necessary as a consequence of accidents, mostly though it is an accompanying intervention of large operations, commonly caused by malignant tumors in the abdominal area.
Thus it is regularly removed, when operating tumors in the pancreas tail, large tumors of the stomach or the left part of the colon, which have spread to the spleen. The removal of the spleen means an increased level of thrombocytes, which then increases the risk of a thrombosis. Some patients thus receive thrombose-inhibiting medication after surgery. Moreover, all patients receive a so-called postsplenectomy vaccination, which has to be renewed regularly, as the missing spleen makes patients more likely to be infected with so-called encapsulating bacteria (such aus pneumococcus, haemophilus infuenzae and meningococcus).
Apart from this, the loss of the spleen is not palpable. In the course of large oncological surgery, most adults and seniors have their whole spleen removed. Sometimes though, only a small part is concerned. In that case, a partial removal can be performed. In certain tumors of the pancreas, a so-called spleen-preserving resection of the pancreas tail can be executed.
The main complication upon removal of the spleen concerns the accumulation of pancreatic fluids in the former spleen region, since the pancreas tail is very close to the spleen and is sometimes injured during surgery.
Apart from that, the so-called thrombosis of the portal vein and the risk of infection, mentioned above, are known complications.