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A splenectomy is the procedure done to remove the spleen. When your spleen becomes enlarged because of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), not only can it cause discomfort, but it can sometimes lower your blood cells to dangerous levels.

Your spleen is an organ located in the upper left portion of your abdomen. It contains groups of lymph nodes, and its main function is to filter old and worn-out cells from the blood. If your spleen is removed, other organs like the lymph nodes and the liver can perform most of its functions, although you'll be at higher risk of infection.

Spleen removal may also help improve your blood cell counts. However, doctors use splenectomy selectively since it's only beneficial if your spleen is affected by CLL.

last updated on Friday, March 11, 2011
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