Q:

Why does my spleen hurt?

A:

Quick Answer

An enlarged spleen sometimes causes pain, especially when the individual takes a deep breath, according to WebMD; however, many people have an enlarged spleen with no symptoms at all. In these cases, the doctor discovers the problem through a physical examination. In most people, the spleen, located in the in the rib cage near the left back, cannot be felt unless it is enlarged.

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Full Answer

The most common treatment for an enlarged spleen is addressing the underlying problem. If there is a bacterial infection, the individual takes antibiotics to kill the bacteria. In some cases, an enlarged spleen does not respond to the medication or causes serious complications and requires surgical removal. The surgeon removes the spleen through a small incision using a laparoscope, according to Mayo Clinic.

The spleen is a part of the lymph system of the human body and helps to prevent disease. The enlarged spleen sometimes causes issues other than pain, such as fatigue, excessive bleeding, anemia and jaundice. If the doctor believes the pain is from the spleen, he is likely to order further diagnostic testing, according to WebMD. These tests include blood tests, ultrasound and a CT scan of the spleen. When a patient receives the diagnosis of an enlarged spleen, his doctor usually wants him to limit activities that could cause the spleen to rupture, causing internal bleeding.

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