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The Human Spleen

What is the Spleen?

The human spleen is an organ that creates lymphocytes for the destruction and recycling of old red-blood cells. The spleen is also a blood reservoir. It supplies the body with blood in emergencies such as a bad cut. The spleen is also the location where white blood cells trap organisms.

The spleen is shaped like a loose fist and is tucked under the left side of the diaphragm.

The average weight of an adult spleen is 0.44 lbs. During and after digestion, the size of the spleen increases. Infection of malaria or mono can also cause the spleen to increase in size.

If the increase in size is significant, the spleen can rupture. If the spleen ruptures, immediate medical care is necessary. You may need emergency surgery to control the bleeding.

Other diseases that causes enlargement of the spleen are: rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, sickle cell anemia, leukemia, lymphoma.

Where is the Spleen located?

The spleen is located in the upper-left part of your abdomen. It is protected by your rib cage.

Can the Spleen be removed?

Yes. If the spleen is ruptured, it can be removed. The spleen can also be removed because of certain kinds of cancers.

 

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