A splenectomy, or spleen removal surgery, may be unavoidable in emergency circumstances. In the majority of cases where a splenectomy is performed emergently, or to save the patient’s life, the spleen has been damaged by trauma. The spleen is highly vascular, with many blood vessels and a large supply of blood, and it bleeds easily. If the bleeding cannot be controlled by other means, it must be removed surgically, or the patient may bleed to death. A car accident is a common cause of trauma to the spleen.
Spontaneous rupture, when the spleen bursts unexpectedly often for no clear reason, is very rare but also results in the need for emergency surgery.