Well, we had the first interview/appointment with our surgeon today. Meredith is scheduled for surgery on the 22nd of this month, to have her gall bladder removed. Luckily (in my opinion – I hope I don’t come to regret it), the collective wisdom of several advanced specialists is that she does not need to have her spleen removed at this time.
Frankly, they’d have had to convince me that she did need to have it removed, since her hemoglobin has overall been good for someone with hereditary spherocytosis. And the spleen is part of the immune system, as well. Adults can do pretty well without one (and I had mine removed when I was even younger than Meredith)….but it’s not an optimal surgery for children. Kids are still acquiring the storehouse of immunities that you and I as adults take for granted, and robbing their bodies of any of their ability to develop that immune response isn’t the greatest idea in the world, even though it certainly can (and often does, I am living proof) turn out just fine. So with no other reason (that I could tell) beyond “hey, while we’re in here, let’s get this too…” I thought it’d be best to just leave well enough alone. Also – for crying out loud – the kid’s had enough done to her over the past ten months…let’s not put her through any more than is absolutely necessary.
I don’t mean to suggest that the doctors were being flip or careless – or that they were on the wrong track. They weren’t. But one of them suggested that we might want to consider a splenectomy, rather than risk yet another semi-risky, expensive abdominal surgery some time in the future. Which I did: I considered it. And I’m glad they decided that it probably wasn’t necessary at this time, since that had been my conclusion, too. Wish our girl luck – and especially that this is the last time (other than yearly check-ups) she’ll have to see the inside of a doctor’s office for quite a while.