One thing I will say for Vanderbilt, is they run like a finely tuned machine. And their surgical department is no different. Unless you work in healthcare or have had to deal with it a lot, youknow that there are often delays and missed paper work, poor communication, etc. Not for my surgery. I felt that I moved through pre-op like butter. They didn't even give me time to change my mind.
My splenectomy had to be an open abdominal incision. It could not be completed laparoscopically because the spleen had to be removed completely intact in order to preserve any pathology (disease process) going on. And that is what we really needed to know- What was going on!! I guess the surgery took about 2.5 hours. I don't know for sure because I don't remember anything after the first 5 seconds.
And here you go (careful, not for the squeamish):
I had been carrying around a nerf football where there should have been a tennis ball or smaller. It weighed 3.3 pounds (normal is 0.3 pounds, so mine was about ten times bigger than normal).
I don't remember much about that day except the doctors and nurses marveling over the size of my spleen and the beauty of my surgical scar. I have adoringly nicknamed it "shark bite."
As much glee as there was over my palpable spleen, there was a lot of admiration over the scar too. I must admit it is healing nicely and should be a good conversation piece in the years to come . I am hoping that my spleen likes its new home in formaldehyde somewhere at Vanderbilt. A portion of the spleen was sent to Histiocyte experts in Pittsburgh. They were going to classify anything that they found and hopefully give us a direction to go (Guess who's coming to dinner?) After the spleen was removed, my blood counts quickly returned to normal. I had more energy, less nausea and the fevers did not return. I was continued on the antifungal medications which would hopefully take care of the lung nodules. We just had to wait and see.