Making the Decision to Have Surgery for CML

It is very rare to have surgery for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The goal is not to cure the chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), but to improve symptoms. You might have surgery to remove a swollen spleen. The procedure is called a splenectomy. Your doctor may recommend surgery to take out your spleen (splenectomy) if you have one or both of these problems.

  • Your spleen has become so swollen from leukemia that it’s pressing on other organs, such as your stomach. You may have tried radiation and it did not help.

  • Your spleen has become so swollen from leukemia that it’s removing too many red blood cells and platelets from circulation. It’s your spleen’s job to remove worn-out blood cells, but leukemia can make your spleen overactive. A splenectomy can help raise your red-blood-cell and platelet counts.

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