Your spleen, located under your ribs on the left side of your abdomen, filters old or damaged blood cells and helps fight infection in your body. Your spleen also creates some red and white blood cells. Splenectomy — surgery to remove your spleen — is required when your spleen becomes diseased, enlarged or ruptured.
Whenever possible, Novant Health UVA Health System general surgeons remove your spleen using minimally invasive procedures. These procedures enable you to heal faster with less pain and a reduced chance of infection. Recovery is rapid and you should go home very soon after surgery. Most people can resume their daily activities within three to seven days.
Learn more about minimally invasive procedures
You can live without a spleen. Other organs, such as your liver, will take over some of the spleen's work. Without a spleen, however, your body will lose some of its ability to fight infections.