PARTIAL SPLENECTOMY CONCERNS
Removal of the spleen is a radical decision based on various disease issues. The partial splenectomy, it has been found, has the desired effect of removing the disease issues and retaining a certain immunology.
The human spleen is shaped kind of like a large lima bean and is located right under the left range of the diaphragm. The spleen is vitally important to the immune system and is quite an undercover operation for the destruction of organisms. It operates as a blood reservoir, supplying blood when the body is badly cut. The spleen also regulates blood flow to the liver.
The spleen itself is actually an important component of the lymph system. One of the jobs of the lymphatic system is to drain excess fluids from within tissues. When the lymphatic system is not working, the body swells. The spleen itself does alot of work cleaning the blood of old red blood cells and various garbage in the system. Think of the spleen as an ambushing station in a defense chain, thanks to lymphocytes and a white blood cell called macrophages. Think of lymphocytes and macrophages as the Special Forces which tackle foriegn entities that have made their way into the body.
The main concern after a partial splenectomy, is regeneration. If the spleen enlarges or regenerates, bone loss, if present before the operation, will progress or worsen. Insufficient venous drainage is one cause of regeneration and can cause an immediate need to re-operate within a very short amount of time. Especially in young children, partial splenetomy seems to be a temporary “fix” due to regeneration and more times than not another surgery will be required.
A partial splenectomy is considered a useful alternative to complete removal to alleviate pain and retain some immune effects.
In cases where surgery would endanger a patient’s life, doctors might use splenic embolization. In this procedure, the splenic artery is blocked with synthetic substances. Those substances are polyvinyl alcohol foam, polystyrene and silicone.
However, in two instances will a spleen be removed because there are NO other alternatives. Hereditary spherocytosis and cancers of the spleen require splenectomy.
According to www.china.org, a good way to maintain a healthy spleen is to eat Chinese pearl barley a.k.a. Job’s tears and to drink Pu’er tea. Meridianpress.net suggests root vegetables, and foods rich in complex carbohydrates. It also says the spleen “likes for you to touch yourself”. Go figure.
If you think that the pain you are feeling might be your spleen, talk to a doctor immediately. The spleen is very important to the human body, and yet sometimes, to save a life, its removal is not negotiable.
Sources: www.sciencedirect.com www.healthline.com www.surgeryencyclopedia.com