The spleen is an organ which is part of lymph system and functions as drainage that protects body against infection. Generally about the size of a fist, the spleen is enlarged due to injection or any injury and condition is called as ‘Splenomegaly’. Individuals with arthritis, leukemia, blood disease, problems with lymph system and cirrhosis are more likely to develop enlarged spleen.
Enlarged spleen grows out of the protective boundaries of rib cage and can get ruptured by even a minor injury. Since enlarged spleen traps the blood cell, the affected person may feel fatigue and dizziness. They may also experience pain in upper abdomen as the enlarged spleen push diaphragm. The excess pressure of enlarged spleen on stomach makes the person to feel full even after having small amount of food and may lead to loss of appetite.
- Pain and discomfort
- Frequent bleeding and infections
- Tenderness and pain behind left ribs
- Hiccups and indigestion
- Weight loss
Diagnosis And Treatment
A complete physical examination and assessment will help doctor to diagnose enlarged spleen. Certain tests are also suggested to confirm, which includes blood tests, ultrasound and CT scan.
Treatment of enlarged spleen depends on the severity of the condition. Limiting the physical activity will help prevent further rupturing of spleen. Enlarged spleen associated with infections is surgically removed through splenectomy.
Children and adults with health problems such as sickle cell anemia or any immune system related disorders are more likely to develop infections after spleen removal. Hence vaccination and administration of antibiotics will help in preventing such infections.