The spleen is an organ located in the upper left portion of the abdomen behind
the stomach. Its functions are to filter blood, remove bacteria, make blood, and
store blood. Laparoscopic surgery is used to remove the spleen.
Laparoscopic surgery uses a thin, telescope-like instrument called a laparoscope,
which is inserted through a small incision. The laparoscope is connected to a tiny
video camera which projects a view of the operative site through video monitors located
in the Operating Room. The abdomen is inflated with carbon dioxide to allow the surgeon a better view of the operative area. Two or three additional small incisions
are made near the laparoscope through which the surgeon inserts specialized instruments to remove the spleen. Following the procedure,
the small incisions are closed with sutures and covered with surgical tape. After
a few months, they are barely visible.