Splenomegaly is the medical term for the condition wherein a patient has an enlarged spleen. Contrary to what most of people believe, this is not a disease in itself. Rather, it is a warning sign of a various diseases. The spleen is located in your abdomen’s upper left near your back, just under the ribcage. This organ is a vital part of your lymph system. It filters the blood and gets rid of all matters that can cause an infection. It produces white blood cells. It also plays a key role in keeping red blood cells and platelets.
This organ, when it is healthy, is just about as small as your fist. Normally, a doctor will not be able to tell if you have an enlarged spleen when he conducts a check-up unless he would make you undergo an X-ray. Sometimes, the enlargement of this organ does not necessarily mean that you have a disease, as it can also grow bigger when it works harder than it should be. However, having certain ailments can indeed make it many times bigger than its usual size. Usually, it is caused by infections, cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, cysts and other inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
The list of the symptoms of enlarged spleen is often disregarded as they are not really apparent. Most of the time, many individuals learn of their condition when going through a check up. The usual warning signs include discomfort or pain to the spot where the organ is located that can even extend up to the left shoulder. You might also experience severe pain on your upper left abdomen when you breathe deeply. Depending on the underlying ailment, you may also feel unwanted weight loss, fatigue, recurrent infections, jaundice, anemia and easy bleeding.
If the enlarged spleen can no longer be saved, it will have to be removed through conducting surgical procedure or what is referred to as splenectomy. You have two options; laparoscopy and open surgery. Most people prefer the first alternative rather than the other. In laparoscopy, a small incision would be enough for the surgeon to see and take your spleen out. Radiation therapy is another alternative if you do not want an operation. It has the capability to shrink the organ. However, this might be expensive. Without the spleen, you will need outside help from other pills and vaccinations to fight off infections.
Preventing to have enlarged spleen is always better than finding a cure for it. You must keep yourself healthy at all times so that your body would not be pushed through its limits. If you are at the point wherein you have inflicted some damages to your spleen, make sure that you will not further the harm. Regulate your activities especially contact sports that have the tendency to split the mentioned organ. Do not be at ease with the fact that you can do away without a spleen. It is vital to the operation of your body. It cannot perform at its best if it lacks one part.
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