What is a splenectomy?
A splenectomy is the surgical removal of the spleen. The spleen is an organ located under the ribs on the left side of the body. It filters your blood and helps your body fight infections.
The spleen is part of the lymphatic system, which also includes the lymph nodes, lymph vessels, lymphatic fluid, the tonsils, thymus, and lymphoid tissue of the digestive tract. Your doctor may perform a splenectomy because your spleen has been damaged or diseased by certain types of cancer, infection, or blood disorder, such as immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP).