If your spleen is removed, you cannot effectively clear certain bacteria from your body and will be more vulnerable to certain infections. Other types of parasites that can lead to enlarged spleen include: malaria, toxoplasmosis, viscera larva migrans and schistosomiasis. Your doctor can often feel it by gently examining your left upper abdomen. The results of a suffering spleen? In Ancient Chinese Medicine and other schools of Eastern medicine, an unhealthy spleen is one of the key contributors to fatigue and anemia, and it can impact how other digestive organs work, including the colon, uterus, rectum, liver or stomach. An enlarged spleen is usually detected during a physical exam. Historically in Eastern medicine, the spleen is viewed as one of the most important organs to well-being, strength and immunity. Radiological Society of North America. Avoid contact sports — such as soccer, football and hockey — and limit other activities as recommended by your doctor. A laparoscope allows the surgeon to view and remove the spleen. A spleen is normally about the size of your fist. If you have an enlarged spleen but don't have any symptoms and the cause can't be found, your doctor may suggest watchful waiting. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, Book: Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, 5th Edition, Newsletter: Mayo Clinic Health Letter — Digital Edition, FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter. A needle biopsy of the spleen is very rare because of the risk of bleeding. This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by our trained editorial staff. A needle is inserted into the bone through an incision. Here are some common causes of an enlarged spleen: Other causes of an enlarged spleen include: Most people don't know they have an enlarged spleen because symptoms are rare. The spleen is a brown, oval-shaped organ located in the upper left side of the abdomen just below the rib cage. Infections that can impact the spleen include viruses like mononucleosis, parasitic infections or infections caused by bacteria. In some cases, the spleen will need to be removed surgically (splenectomy). Your doctor can often feel it by gently examining your left upper abdomen. An enlarged, malfunctioning spleen can lead to frequent infections; low energy; anemic symptoms; changes in appetite, body weight, digestion and blood flow; and more. After spleen removal, certain steps can help reduce your risk of infection, including: Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease. These are related to the underlying disease.
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