Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Splenectomy

Contributor(s): Andrew Gardiner, Lori Ludwig

Introduction

  • Surgical removal of part or whole of spleen.

Uses

  • Splenic neoplasia Spleen: neoplasia.
  • Splenic trauma Spleen: trauma.
  • Splenic infarction.
  • Splenic torsion.
  • Splenic abscess or hematoma.
  • Occasionally, as a component of therapy of certain immune-mediated diseases.

Advantages

  • Splenic torsion is more reliably treated with total splenectomy crather than derotation and repositioning. The latter may result in recurrence due to the lack of opportunities to pexy the spleen and thus stabilize it.
  • Most of the other conditions have clear surgical indications for partial or complete splenectomy.

Disadvantages

  • When used as part of the management of immune-mediated disorders (thrombocytopenia Immune-mediated thrombocytopenia or hemolytic anemia Anemia: immune mediated hemolytic ), sepsis is a theoretical complication of splenectomy, though seemingly rare in dogs. Improved medical protocols reduce the need for splenectomy in these disorders.
  • The spleen is a site for extra-medullary hemopoiesis and splenectomy may make immune-mediated anemias worse.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Depends on the reasons for splenectomy.
  • One of the most common reasons for this surgery - removal of splenic hemangiosarcoma - carries a poor long-term prognosis but operated dogs may attain several months of good quality of life post-operatively until secondary neoplasia ensues.
  • The prognosis for successfully managed splenic trauma, torsion, abscess and hematoma is good.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Wood C A, Moore A S, Gliatto J M et al (1998) Prognosis for dogs with stage I or II splenic haemangiosarcoma treated by splenectomy alone - 32 cases (1991-1993). JAAHA 34 (5), 417-421 PubMed.
  • Spangler W L & Kass P H (1997) Pathological factors affecting post-splenectomy survival in dogs. JVIM 11 (3), 166-171 PubMed.
  • Prymak C, McKee L J, Goldschmidt M H et al (1988) Epidemiological, clinical, pathological and prognostic characteristics of splenic haemangiosarcoma in dogs - 217 cases (1985). JAVMA 193 (6), 706-12 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Waldron D R & Robertson J (1995) Partial splenectomy in the dog - comparison of stapling and ligation techniques. JAAHA 31 (4), 343-348 PubMed.
  • Keys M L, Rush J E, Rand W et al (1993) Ventricular arrhythmias in dogs with splenic mass. Vet Emerg Crit Care (1), 33-38 VetMedResource.
  • Hosgood G, Bone D L, Vorhees W D 3rd et al (1989) Splenectomy in the dog by ligation of the splenic and short gastric arteries. Vet Surg 18 (2), 110-113 PubMed.


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