Spleen is an organ located in the abdominal area of thehuman body, precisely on the left side of the rib cage. It has manyphysiological roles, but the most important are the two regarding the bloodcells. This organ is the pool of red blood cells and it is also responsible forthe production of white blood cells.
Spleen may look protected, but the spleen injuries aren’t sorare. Most commonly, person can damage the spleen in some physical trauma (carcrash, serious blow on the rib cage, etc.) but also during some exercise. Manyathletes injured their spleen boxing or playing football. There are also somemedical conditions that might affect the spleen and damage it, including:leukemia and infectious mononucleosis.
Diagnosis of the spleen injury is set up after the physical examination,abdominal scan for the blood in the abdominal cavity, and CT scan.
Symptoms of Spleen Injury
A person having a spleen injury may experience nausea,vomiting, contusion of the upper abdomen and abdominal pain. Often, thesepatients complain about the pain in the left chest and/or left shoulder,and their abdominal pain frequently get worse after some movement of theabdominal muscles. If the spleen ruptured, patients might have intense nauseaand vomiting, accompanied by the abdominal hemorrhage (bleeding). The loss ofblood may further lead to hypotension, vision problems, dizziness and unconsciousness.
Treatment and Recovery from Spleen Injury
The initial treatment of the spleen injury is intravenousfluid, to maintain the normal blood flow. If the injury is small, doctor willtreat the injury non-surgically, but some large spleen problems are surgicallytreated. Spleen injuries in children are almost always treated non-surgically. Anotheroption is splenectomy (surgical removal of the spleen), if other treatments fail.Splenectomy could be either laparascopic or open surgery, depending on the sizeof the spleen.
Spleen is not one of the most important in the body, and aperson may live a relatively healthy life without this organ. The problem inpeople without the spleen is their susceptibility to various infections. Becauseof that, doctors tend to prescribe courses of antibiotics to patientsrecovering from the spleen injury or spleen removal.
Depending on the treatment, the recovery takes form one weekto couple of months. Laparascopic splenectomy patients are usually well after aweek or two, but it may take several months to recover from the open surgeryremoval of the spleen.