Splenectomy abroad, is a much welcome option for patients requiring a splenectomy surgery at the earliest but cannot get one in their home country due to high costs, long waiting lists or lack of advanced medical facilities. Splenectomy is a complicated surgery and it is very important that the patient gets it done at a hospital which has a well versed set of surgeons and state-of-the-art medical facilities.
This is where medical tourism comes in. Many countries have emerged as important medical centers for patients to plan their medical tours. India and Mexico are among the most preferred medical tourism destinations, and offer patients treatments and medical facilities which are at par with what one would find in the US, UK or Canada, but at a fraction of the cost. Increasing numbers of patients are opting to go abroad, in order to get a splenectomy done.
Splenectomy, also written as spleenectomy, is the surgical removal of the spleen, an organ which is the part of the lymphatic system. A dark purple bean-shaped organ, the spleen is located in the upper left side of the abdomen, just behind the bottom of the rib cage. The function of the spleen is to remove bacteria, parasites and other infection causing organisms from the blood. It also makes and stores the blood as well as removes old and damaged blood cells.
A splenectomy surgery is performed for various reasons, and there are different procedures which can be followed for the operation. On this page, you will find information on spleen removal surgery, different procedures, a brief overview on the recovery, and a note on getting a splenectomy surgery abroad with special emphasis on India.
Splenectomies are performed for a number of reasons. Depending upon the patient’s condition, splenectomy can either be partial or complete. Most splenectomy surgeries are performed when a patient has been diagnosed with hypersplenism, which is not one specific diseases but a cluster of symptoms or a syndrome. The most common reasons for a splenectomy include:
In addition to the above mentioned reasons, there are various other major or minor factors due to which the doctor might advise a splenectomy surgery. Depending upon the problem and the patient’s individual circumstances, the doctor will advise a splenectomy with varied degrees of urgency.
A splenectomy is performed while the patient is under general anesthesia. The surgeon starts by making an incision in the abdomen. The spleen is then located and separated from its attachments to the surrounding organs. The blood supply to the spleen is then divided and it is removed from the abdomen. After establishing that there is no abnormal bleeding, the incision is closed.
The procedure can take anywhere from 1-2 hours. Lesser time is taken in a laparoscopic technique and the recovery is faster as well.
Complete Splenectomy – A complete splenectomy surgery is performed is two cases, either when an enlarged spleen is to be removed or when a ruptured spleen has to be removed. An open surgery is undertaken to remove the spleen via an incision in the abdomen in the case of an enlarged spleen. On the other hand, when the spleen has been ruptured, the organ is approached from its underside. After the spleen is removed, the incision is closed.
Partial Splenectomy – When the spleen is not entirely damaged and a partial removal of the organ will suffice, a partial splenectomy is performed. Only a part of the spleen is removed and this is considered by many a welcome compromise which reduces the pain and discomfort caused by an enlarged spleen, while leaving the patient less vulnerable to infections.
Laparoscopic splenectomy – This procedure involves the removal of the spleen via various small incisions, and this procedure is fast becoming the preferred method to operate. Also called keyhole splenectomy, laparoscopic spleen removal is done with small surgical instruments inserted through very short incisions. Advantages of this procedure include less pain, less discomfort, reduced risk of infections, reduced hospital stay and barely visible scars.
A laparoscopic splenectomy is not favored if the patient’s spleen is greatly enlarged. A spleen no longer than 20 centimeters is removed via this procedure.
Recovery time varies from patient to patient, but it generally takes 4-6 weeks for complete recovery to take place. A day or two of hospitalization is required to ensure that everything is on track, post which the patient is sent home with a follow up schedule and prescriptions. Blood transfusion may be indicated for some patients, in order to replace defective blood cells. A little pain and discomfort is expected, and medication is given to control the same, but anything extreme should be reported to the surgeon immediately. Frequent travel should be avoided and the patient is required to ease into their pre surgery routines.
Children with splenectomies may be kept on antibiotic therapy until they are 16 years old. All patients can be given a booster dose of pneumococcal vaccine five to 10 years after undergoing a splenectomy.
Signs of infection, fevers, chills, redness, swelling, increased pain and discharge from the incision site, cough, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting should be reported to the doctor immediately.
Splenectomy removes the organ which takes care of filtering out the bacteria and other infection causing organisms from the blood. Owing to this, the surgery has various risk factors associated with it. Some of the most common ones are:
Keeping the above mentioned risks in mind, surgeons prescribe various medications which are to be taken religiously after the surgery, a two-year course of penicillin or long-term treatment with ampicillin being the most common.
The cost of a splenectomy surgery is calculated based on various factors like the patient’s condition, whether the surgery is open or laparoscopic, if the splenectomy will be complete or partial, age, location, gender and various other factors. Added to the cost of the procedure will be pre and post operation expenses such as medicines, tests and hospital stay. The total cost of the surgery can sometimes be too much for a patient to afford.
This is where, getting a splenectomy abroad seems like the best option. Affordable splenectomy surgeries are administered in India, Mexico, Thailand and many other countries which have emerged as important centers for medical tourism.
In addition to costs, there are some other factors that discourage a patient from getting a splenectomy in his own country, like,long waiting lists and sub-standard medical facilities.
India is a hub of medical tourism, offering world class medical facilities and quick, affordable treatments. Splenectomy surgery in India costs less, is performed by experienced surgeons, most of them have trained at U.S., U.K., Canada or Australia. The country brings together state of the art medical facilities, experienced surgeons, quick treatments and affordable costs together. Patients looking for splenectomy surgery costs which are less, without any compromise on quality, will find that a splenectomy in India is the best option.
Whatever source you choose for a splenectomy surgery abroad, make sure that the hospital is accredited and has a successful track record. Also, ensure beforehand that the source is worth your time and money.
UT Medical Group
Medical Tourism Corporation facilitates low cost Splenectomy Surgery at many International Destinations. Fill out the free estimate request form for a free quote & more information.
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