Your spleen is an organ above your stomach and under your ribs on your left side. It is about as big as your fist. The spleen is part of your lymphatic system, which fights infection and keeps your body fluids in balance. It contains white blood cells that fight germs. Your spleen also helps control the amount of blood in your body, and destroys old and damaged cells.
Certain diseases might cause your spleen to swell. You can also damage or rupture your spleen in an injury, especially if it is already swollen. If your spleen is too damaged, you might need surgery to remove it. You can live without a spleen. Other organs, such as your liver, will take over some of the spleen's work. Without a spleen, however, your body will lose some of its ability to fight infections.
- Isolated congenital asplenia: MedlinePlus Genetics (National Library of Medicine)
Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
- Article: Efficacy and safety of heparin plus dexamethasone after partial splenic embolization...
- Article: Endoscopic ultrasound-guided tissue acquisition for splenic lesions: A systematic review and...
- Article: Laparoscopic organ-sparing surgery for cystic lesions of the spleen - own...
- Spleen Diseases -- see more articles
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