Eighteen patients underwent splenectomy for hypersplenism from a group of approximately 1,000 patients admitted to four hospitals with a diagnosis of malignant lymphoma. The results indicate that splenectomy is without benefit in Hodgkin's disease. However, it may favorably influence the course of lymphosarcoma. Six of the eight patients with Hodgkin's disease and one of the nine patients with lymphosarcoma died within 30 days of the operation. The overall operative mortality was 39%. Surgeons attempting this procedure should carefully review the indications, the goals, and the technique of this operation owing to the high morbidity and mortality associated with splenectomy in malignant lymphoma.