Ruptured Spleen And Spleen Removal
When To See A Doctor - There are a number of indications that you may be suffering from an enlarged spleen. Some of the symptoms could be caused by something else, but for the most part are such that you should see a doctor, whether or not it's your spleen that is the source of the problem.
As the spleen enlarges and begins to destroy an excess of blood cells, one of the symptoms will be a feeling of fatigue, arising from anemia.
You may also find yourself subject to infections much more than has usually been the case.
Shortness of breath is another common symptom of an enlarged spleen, as is more bleeding than normal from small scratches or wounds.
Any of these symptoms warrant a trip to the doctor, but if you are experiencing pain, especially in the upper left abdomen, and especially when you take a deep breath, you definitely need to schedule an exam.
The first thing a doctor will do in this case is to attempt to find the underlying cause. Little can be done regarding an enlarged spleen and the resulting spleen pain, unless this underlying cause can be isolated and attended to. Obviously though, if the enlargement is severe, there is evidence of internal blood loss, or the spleen is in danger of rupturing, it may have to be removed, regardless of the underlying cause of the problem.
Removal of the spleen is referred to as having a splenectomy. If removal is not absolutely necessary, radiation treatment can sometimes reverse the enlargement process. There are also situations where surgery on the spleen can be performed, and in tandem with a series of blood transfusions, can effectively treat the problem.
A Ruptured Spleen - If your spleen should rupture, either through enlargement or through injury, it is an emergency situation.
Spleen pain and tenderness is likely, as is a feeling of lightheadedness, resulting from a loss of blood.
Lower than normal blood pressure is another indicator.
A person who has suffered a ruptured spleen may also feel confused, may experience fainting spells, and may suffer from blurred vision.
The Effects Of Spleen Removal - As mentioned previously, the spleen is not a vital organ. How, then, are you affected if your spleen has been removed?
For the most part, you can continue leading a normal life, as other organs take up the load formerly carried by the spleen. What will change, however, is that you will be much more likely to encounter serious infections, the types of infections that your spleen was so effective in combating. This situation is most critical during the first year or two following a splenectomy, but you'll always have to be on guard, and see your doctor at the first sign of infection.
In fact, you'll need to keep your doctor informed of events such as a sore throat, or slight fever, things you never would have considered seeing a doctor about before. You'll want to keep up with the yearly flu vaccines, and will likely be advised to have a periodic pneumonia vaccine as well.
The doctor may even want you to have several other shots to protect you from other infections, including meningitis. It will be more difficult for your body to avoid incidents of flu or pneumonia, and the effects can be more severe than would be the case if you had a healthy spleen. If you are like most people, and don't want to "bother” the doctor with seemingly small problems, that is the one area you are going to have to change, and your doctor, of course, will perfectly understand.