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Do you have spleen problems? The spleen is a soft, spongy organ that rests under your rib cage in the upper left portion of the abdomen toward the back. The spleen is normally equal to the size of the fist and is an integral part of the lymph system. This small organ defends your body in multiple ways.
Sometimes, the spleen gets larger than its size, which may affect either of the functions it performs. As a result, the enlarged spleen or splenomegaly, starts filtering not only the damaged blood cells but also the healthy cells in your bloodstream. This causes a reduction in the number of normal blood cells in your body.
Also, the excessive red blood cells and platelets may obstruct your spleen and affect the functioning adversely. Sometimes, a physical examination may not be enough to feel the spleen. However, certain diseases may result in a swollen and enlarged spleen. It is important to know that an enlarged spleen does not always indicate a problem. Rather, it might signal an overactive spleen.
Sometimes, an enlarged spleen causes no signs or clear symptoms. However, some people may experience discomfort or pain in the upper left side of the abdomen radiating to the left shoulder. Your spleen may become so large that it presses on your stomach. As a result, you may feel full without eating or only eating a small amount.
When the enlarged spleen exerts pressure on the other organs, it affects the blood flow to the spleen. Thus, the spleen may not be able to work actively. The removal of too many blood cells due to abnormal spleen functioning may cause anemia. Also, the low count of white blood cells may expose you to infections more often.
The enlargement of the spleen may cause several infections and diseases. Some of the main causes of enlarged spleen include:
A ruptured spleen may cause bleeding in the abdominal activity that may prove fatal. It is paramount to get medical help for the enlargement of the spleen. You can’t afford to leave an enlarged spleen untreated as it may lead you to serious medical issues.
Most of the times, treating the root cause of spleen enlargement may help evade the removal of the spleen. For instance, if the spleen enlargement is a result of an infection, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Shrinking the spleen through radiation may save you from spleen removal.
However, if the doctor fails to identify the main culprit, or the case is severe, then the surgeon may remove the spleen through splenectomy. For the procedure, the doctors prefer minimally invasive surgery to open surgery. Hence, for removing the spleen, the surgeon marks several small incisions. With the help of laparoscopy, the doctor then removes the enlarged spleen.
You are required to be extra cautious after the spleen removal surgery as it makes you susceptible to contract infections more often. Hence, you may not be able to fight the bacteria effectively. However, vaccines, certain medicines, and antibiotics may help reduce the risk of infection post-surgery.
Your spleen is a small but integral organ of your body, and the enlargement of spleen may have drastic effects on the functioning of it. Therefore, it is vital to your health to seek professional help for your major and minor spleen problems.
Contact Lenox Hill Surgeons today and schedule an appointment with the best surgeons in NYC for spleen removal.