what does the spleen do

Your spleen is an organ located just below your left rib cage. Antibiotics may be prescribed if there's an infection. It contains special white blood cells that destroy bacteria and help your body fight infections. It is an important part of your immune system but you can survive without it. The … Instead, you'll receive treatment for any underlying condition and your spleen will be monitored. A component of the immune system, the spleen is connected to the lymphatic system. It mainly acts as a filter for purifying the blood, removing microbes and worn out or damaged red blood cells. In some cases, when there is no other option, a splenectomy, the surgical procedure to remove the spleen, is performed. Read our, Medically reviewed by Douglas A. Nelson, MD, Medically reviewed by Anita C. Chandrasekaran, MD, MPH, Medically reviewed by Kashif J. Piracha, MD. 2. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. A blood test, CT scan or MRI scan would confirm the diagnosis. It is possible to have the spleen removed and live a healthy life. However, you will still need a general anaesthetic. It may be tender when you touch the area. This can be a sign of a damaged, ruptured or enlarged spleen. The spleen is an organ about the size of a clenched fist found on the left-hand side of your upper tummy (abdomen). The spleen has a few important functions: It fights any invading germs in the blood (the spleen contains infection-fighting white blood cells). A laparoscope is long, thin, flexible instrument with its own light source. Its roles include filtering blood, storing platelets and white blood cells, recycling broken down red blood cells, and destroying harmful microorganisms like bacteria. That said, an individual without a spleen will always have a greater risk of contracting pneumonia and reduced effectiveness of vaccines. Spleen Diseases. Sometimes, if you lie down and raise your legs, the pain can be felt at the tip of your left shoulder. What Medical Conditions Affect the Spleen? It is the largest organ in our lymphatic system. As the spleen is not the only organ responsible for any of these functions, the spleen is not a necessary organ. While the spleen is useful and does perform vital tasks, other organs in the body also work to filter the blood and fight infection, and blood cells are mainly produced in the bones. Why Would Someone Need Surgery to Remove Their Spleen? A meningitis vaccine should also be considered along with annual flu shots. This means you will still be able to cope with most infections. \"The spleen . an increased risk of infection, from a reduced number of white blood cells, bleeding or bruising, from a reduced number of platelets, pain behind your left ribs and tenderness when you touch this area, dizziness and a rapid heart rate (a sign of low blood pressure caused by blood loss), feeling full very quickly after eating (an enlarged spleen can press on the stomach), feeling discomfort or pain behind your left ribs. So far this seems to be true for COVID-19 as well. **** Common signs and symptoms include sudden pain and tenderness in the upper left abdomen, left shoulder pain, fever, chills and a generalized feeling of being ill. Learn more about your spleen: https://wb.md/31itxLVIt's that organ right behind the stomach and under the lungs, but honestly what does the spleen do? An operation to remove the spleen, known as a splenectomy, may be needed if the spleen is damaged, diseased or enlarged. However, there is a small risk that a serious infection may develop quickly. The function of spleen is to make new red blood cells and destroy old cells. The risks of contracting an infection are highest in the first two years following surgery. It helps the immune system by storing white blood cells and helping in the creation of antibodies. Many conditions — including infections, liver disease and some cancers — can cause an enlarged spleen, also known as splenomegaly (spleh-no-MEG-uh-lee).An enlarged spleen usually doesn't cause symptoms. You should be able to eat and drink as normal soon after the operation. The spleen is rarely the cause of health issues so it is often overlooked when talking about wellness and prevention of illness. This risk can be minimised by following simple precautions to prevent infection. A ruptured spleen is a medical emergency, as it can cause life-threatening bleeding. It recognizes and removes old, malformed, or damaged red blood cells. Vaccines may need to be given more frequently, particularly the pneumonia vaccine, to prevent serious illness. If you become ill, get medical advice straight away. If you go trekking or camping regularly, you may be at risk of babesiosis, which is a rare disease transmitted by ticks. The scars from your operation will gradually fade. For most viruses, not having a spleen does not seem to be a major risk factor for illness. Recovery usually takes a few weeks. Its main functions are to filter your blood, create new blood cells and store platelets. The spleen is an organ found in almost all vertebrate animals. Like any operation, a splenectomy carries a small risk of complications, including bleeding and infection. https://medlineplus.gov/spleendiseases.html#summary​, Ⓒ 2020 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. It is also a key part of your body's immune system. . A ruptured spleen is a medical emergency that occurs as a result of a break in your spleen's surface. It acts as a filter for blood as part of the immune system. The risk is also increased if you have a medical condition such as sickle cell anaemia, coeliac disease or a condition that affects your immune system, such as HIV. Don’t include personal information e.g. name, location or any personal health conditions. Spleen Houses the Intellect. You should be given breathing and leg movement exercises to do at home, to reduce your risk of getting a blood clot or a chest infection. Spleen tumor in dogs is a type of metastatic cancer that is highly dangerous and with poor survival rates, most commonly seen in certain dog breeds. The spleen has some important functions: it fights invading germs in the blood (the spleen contains infection-fighting white blood cells) it controls the level of blood cells (white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets) it filters the blood and removes any old or damaged red blood cells for the first two years after your spleen is removed, if your immune system doesn't work properly, redness and swelling around the surgical wound, if your spleen is removed, the hospital may give you a splenectomy card to take home with you, you may want to buy your own medical ID, such as a MedicAlert or Medi-Tag bracelet or pendant, you may be advised to take a course of antibiotics with you, find out if you need an extra meningitis vaccination (types ACWY), check if you need any travel vaccinations. The spleen is an organ found in virtually all vertebrates.Similar in structure to a large lymph node, it acts primarily as a blood filter.The word spleen comes from Ancient Greek σπλήν (splḗn).. 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