Liver, Pancreas, & Spleen
Liver diseases :: Pancreatic disorders :: Spleen disorders
Spleen is a large organ, located in the upper left part of the stomach, protected by ribs. It is about a size of your fist. Spleen contains specialized cells called as macrophages that fight against the foreign bodies.
Various causes for spleen enlargement include bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections of liver, blood diseases, and cancers.
Functions of spleen
- Stores and filters blood
- Supplies blood during emergency case like cuts
- Protects body against infections
- Produces lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells that fight against disease causing organisms
- Destroys worn out and damaged red blood cells and platelets
The most commonly observed condition is splenomegaly.
Splenomegaly is an enlargement of spleen without causing any symptoms. Sometimes the symptom can be mistaken for some other condition.
The symptoms of enlargement include abdominal pain, hiccups, unable to have a large meal, weakness, fatigue, frequent infections, and severe bleeding.
Your doctor can diagnose by physical examination. But in some cases, ultrasonography or computed tomography (CT) scan is required to ensure the spleen enlargement.
Splenomegaly is treated with open and laparoscopic splenectomy procedures.
Open splenectomy: It is a surgical procedure to remove the spleen where the spleen is enlarged and damaged. It is performed under general anesthesia. A large cut is made in the middle or on the left side of the abdomen, below the ribs. The blood vessels are tied. surgeon removes the spleen and the incisions are stitched after checking for bleeding.
Laparoscopic splenectomy: It is performed under general anesthesia. It uses a laparoscope, an instrument with a tiny camera and a light at the end. Three to four incisions are made on the abdomen, and the laparoscope is inserted through one of the incisions. The laparoscope allows viewing the area on a bigger screen. Other surgical instruments are inserted through the other incisions. Gas is pumped to expand the abdomen to give more space to work. Spleen is removed using the laparoscope and other instruments. The small incisions are stitched.
Some of the complications include bleeding, wound infection, pneumonia, and injury to other structures.