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Answer A Question

How long will I live with out a spleen?

Asked by anonymous - 6 years 9 months ago

This question can also be asked as:

Can anyone tell me if they ever had a cyst on spleen and had to have removed?

Suggested by anonymous - 4 years 3 months ago

Can you drink alcohol without a spleen?

Suggested by anonymous - 3 years 11 months ago

can i drink alcohol since havin my spleen removed?

Suggested by anonymous - 3 years 7 months ago

can i drink alcohol with no spleen?

Suggested by anonymous - 2 years 10 months ago
 

Highest Rated Answer

Answered by Jan
6 years 9 months ago
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Not having a spleen won't kill you.

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Answered by larryhyder
6 years 9 months ago
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*** g71 3/8 pp. 16-18 The Spleen?an Amazing Organ ***

The Spleen?an Amazing Organ

BUILDERS of such structures as bridges recognize the need of providing for a margin of safety. The structure must be made strong enough not only to support the maximum loads expected but to have an extra margin of safety for unexpected strains that it might have to bear. Yet, builders of bridges are not the first to consider a safety margin. God, the Creator, provided our bodies with margin-of-safety factors.

In many respects the spleen might be said to be a safety-margin organ. Until the age of two a child may well succumb to an infection if the spleen has been removed. But after that, if the spleen is removed by surgery, other parts of the body apparently take up many of its functions.

Some 1800 years ago Galen, a leading physician of those times, said that ?the spleen is an organ full of mystery.? The story is told that Rudolf Virchow, leading nineteenth-century pathologist, once asked a medical student in his class what the function of the spleen is. The student stammered and said that he had known its function but had forgotten it. ?What a pity!? exclaimed Virchow. ?Here at last we have a fellow who knew why we have a spleen and now he has forgotten it!? And there is still much about the spleen that is not clear, as can be seen, for example, by the difference in medical opinion as to just how the blood in the spleen passes from the arteries to the veins.

Its Characteristics

It might well be said that there is no other organ in the body just like the spleen. The organ itself is insensitive to pain, being like the brain in this respect. It appears to be a gland, yet it belongs neither to the glands having ducts, for it has none, nor to those without ducts, for it produces no hormones. It has rhythmic contractions from two to five times a minute.

Where is our spleen located? In the upper part of the abdomen, just beneath the diaphragm separating the organs of the chest from those of the abdomen. It might be said to resemble a small curved hand. In adults it is about five inches long, about three inches wide and an inch to an inch and a half thick; on an average it weighs about seven ounces. It is of a purplish or deep red color and has a tough elastic outer covering or ?capsule.? The spleen is very adaptable, being able to alter its size to suit its work load, circumstances and even the temperature.

Just how much the spleen does can be seen to some extent from this very apt description of it: ?It is a combination manufacturing shop, filtration unit, waste disposal and salvage plant, and reservoir.??Today?s Health, November 1969.

A Manufacturing Shop

To begin with, the spleen is a manufacturing shop. Even before the third month of development of a fetus the spleen begins to work, producing white and red blood cells. However, after birth a baby?s spleen limits itself to the production of white cells called lymphocytes. But what a producer it is! It is said that the blood is sixty times richer in white cells when it leaves the spleen than when it enters it.

As a manufacturing shop the spleen also produces antibodies, tiny particles in the blood that serve to build up the body?s immunity. And the spleen produces a substance that helps the body in combating the effects of irradiation. Valuable indeed are the products ?manufactured? in this ?shop.?

A Filtration Unit

The spleen is also a filtration unit. It shares with the liver in filtering out waste products in the blood, such as harmful organisms, worn-out red cells and platelets. It has a large artery seemingly all out of proportion to its size. But that it is very much needed is apparent from the fact that the body?s entire blood supply, some five to six quarts, passes through the spleen every ninety minutes.

This filtering is done largely by cells lining its blood channels. Their ability to do this baffles scientists. They tell us: ?We don?t yet know what is that inherent ability in these cells that makes them so sensitive?it?s almost like a human observer, a factory inspector watching a product for defects.?

A Waste Disposal and Salvage Plant

Once having filtered out all such useless, harmful or at least imperfect elements from the blood there is the problem of getting rid of them, as well as salvaging what can be salvaged. These tasks the spleen also performs by means of certain of its cells. Red blood cells have an average life of 127 days. To keep the body properly supplied the red bone marrow must produce 2.5 million of these cells every second of every hour of both day and night. It follows that to keep the bloodstream from getting clogged, a like number, some 2.5 million worn-out cells, must be disposed of every second. Well has it been noted that the spleen (together with the liver) furnish us with ?an excellent example of dynamic equilibrium.? For this reason the spleen has also been called ?the graveyard of the red cells.? The cells that destroy the old and worn-out red blood cells, and which in the spleen are stationary, are called macrophages, meaning ?large devourers.? The cells that attack harmful organisms are called phagocytes, meaning ?cell devourers.? Toward the end of an attack by an infectious disease these cells are observed to be full of the organisms that caused the disease.

In disposing of the worn-out red cells the iron is salvaged. When the cells that destroy the worn-out cells have filled up on iron, they travel to the red bone marrow and deposit their salvaged iron there for it to be used over and over again. True it is that the spleen does not waste a single thing. Its cells are said to be more effective than those of the liver, but the liver gets more of this work done because of its having so many more of these cells.

A Reservoir

The spleen is also a reservoir. As small as it is when healthy, a spleen can expand to hold as much as a quart of blood. When we engage in strenuous exercise our spleen contracts to supply the muscles with extra blood. Likewise when there is a sudden loss of blood, as when there is a hemorrhaging or a wound, the spleen at once makes up for the loss to the extent that it can by squeezing practically all of its own blood into circulation. Similarly, when one who is used to living in a low altitude travels to a high altitude the spleen will at once send extra supplies of red corpuscles into the bloodstream; more being needed due to the scarcity of oxygen in the air. But after a time the red marrow and the heart adjust to take care of this increased burden.

In times past the spleen has often been associated with the emotions, as when one spoke of an angry person venting his spleen on someone. It appears that this point is well taken, for when a man or animal is gripped with fear or strong anger, the spleen at once contracts, sending extra blood into the circulation so as to strengthen the body for the emergency. Thus experiments have shown that the spleen of a dog accustomed to chasing cats contracts and empties its contents into the dog?s bloodstream upon his smelling a duster that has been in contact with cats or-upon hearing the meowing of a cat.

When Things Go Wrong

Not quite forty years ago a surgeon for the first time cut out the spleen of a patient suffering from hemolytic anemia, with apparently beneficial results. This operation resulted in a great increase in the investigation of the spleen. It also seemed to make temporarily fashionable the cutting out of spleens. Today, however, there is far less removing of spleens. For one thing, it was discovered that in such cases the fault is with the body?s production of defective red blood cells.

However, in certain diseased conditions doctors may recommend removing the spleen, especially when it becomes greatly enlarged. There is a case on record where the spleen increased from six ounces to twenty pounds, an increase of fiftyfold! It. was as if the woman was carrying a large baby in her abdomen! But this is rare. In fact, tumors so rarely affect the spleen that it has been described as anticancerous.

Today most operations for removing the spleen are due to severe accidents, such as those caused by auto crashes or skiing mishaps. If the capsule of the spleen gets ruptured, the blood will spill into the abdomen, and an operation may be necessary to keep the patient from bleeding to death. Or it may be damaged inside the capsule, causing it to fill up with blood until the capsule breaks, with similar fatal results possible. On the other hand, in shock, when the blood seems to disappear from circulation for apparently no reason and the patient becomes deathly pale and loses consciousness, it has been found that the spleen becomes distended with blood.

Truly the spleen serves valuable purposes. Although the body can adjust to its removal, it performs valuable services. It is indeed ?a manufacturing shop, a filtration unit, a waste disposal and salvage plant, and a reservoir.

Comments

anonymous
commented 6 years ago

I had my spleen removed when I was less than 2yrs old and I just turned 35, I dont have a lot of knowledge on the dos and donts and what to be careful of, but I do know that when I get sick it takes me a long time to recover, and by that I mean longer than most people. I have lived a pretty normal life and had 5 kids, so living without my spleen has not had to big of an inpact except for I bruise more easily than most, and I do try to stay away from others whom are not well.

anonymous
commented 3 years 4 months ago

i had my spleen removed when i was 22yrs old. im now 34. did you have any problems with your pregnancies, like before or after? no one can give me any info on this question. thanks

anonymous
commented 3 years 1 month ago

I got pregnant 6 months after having my spleen removed due to a car accident and had no complications during my pregnancy.

anonymous
commented 3 years 9 months ago

thanks

anonymous
commented 4 years 9 months ago

Hi I had my spleen removed due to a gun shot wound, it's been 6 years now I am now 42 and I've notice in the last couple of years it's taking longer for me to get better when I get sick. I get B12 shots every month, I try to eat well but it's hard when your missing 4ft of lower intestine, and part of your Colon, some foods have become my my worst nightmare. I love spice but can't eat it, and vegtables go right through me, but I can tell you one thing that red meat is no good for you so eat your pork, chicken and fish you'll live longer. Saying that I've started taking more Vitamins and I've notice a big difference in energy and now I'm more likley to socialize and not worry so much about getting sick but I'm still carefull. Also I'm more exceptable to spider bites, bug bites, bee stings so becareful out there or better yet get tested by your doctor. I almost died from a spider bite while I was hunting I got bit on the top of my hand by what I don't know? 5 hours later it looked like my arm was broke, I was taken too the Hospital, the nurse said to me if I had waited any longer I would have gone into a Coma. A weeks worth of IV at the hospital everyday for 8 days, I got better but it was no fun. So becarefull out there, all I can say is if you don't have a spleen, you can live without it just take care of your body it's a pretty remarkable piece of Machinery and I hope to live a long and Healthy Life! You get one shot I figure, so make the best of your life. Cheers and here's to being alive!!!

anonymous
commented 4 years 6 months ago

how about you grind up your food it might work

anonymous
commented 4 years 4 months ago

it's funny how you say cheers at the end, because drinking is probably really bad for you witout a spleen, and i don't have a spleen either bt i worry abouty drinking habits

Other Answers

Answered by anonymous
5 years 5 months ago
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I had my spleen out in 1997, I had a blockage between my liver and my spleen causing it to be come enlarged (it was as big as my head) and it kind of went into overdrive, So when I had my spleen I would bruise easy, I looked grey most of the time and would have very little energy.

I'm now 27, I don't seem to bruise as easy anymore, when i'm ill it still take a while to recover but I have more colour however I still feel weak at time.

So if you have your spleen out soon then relax you can live without it, you just have to be more care full and try stay away from ill ppl :)

Comments

anonymous
commented 5 years 1 month ago

I had my spleen removed at the age of 19 in 1964 and am now 65 yrs. old. At the time I was told that I could live without a sleen as it's only functions were those of acting as a resevoir for excess blood in the system as well as a blood purifier. I was not at the time or any time since, despite having been examined by many doctors and having undergone spinal surgery on two prior occasions during the past 46 years, warned by anyone of the dangers of living without a spleen! I have just undergone my third major spinal surgery and it was only, just prior to this and after being examined by a Specialist Physician just prior to surgery, that I was warned of the dangers. Surprisingly, as I live in South Africa and frequently travel in and visit Maleria zones, I have been fortunate enough to have never contracted maleria as, according to the Physician, this could have been fatal! Before leaving hospital after my recent surgery I was administered with a pneumonia vacination and advised to have this repeated every 5 years.

anonymous
commented 4 years 8 months ago

I had a skiing accident 14 years ago and my spleen removed in the emergency room. Now being 58 and in almost perfect health, I have not been sick at all in those 14 years. I always get my annual flu shots and pnumonia shots every 5 years. I read these from the peaople in these blogs about being healthy and living well but waht about after 65. Do we know anybody without a spleen living until, let's say 85? I would like to know about the facts as we all know that after age 65 a person's natural immune system will go even weaker.Please comment. Thanks

Answered by anonymous
6 years 4 months ago
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I had my spleen removed in 1979 and I'm still alive. I've had a few infections and a couple of stays in the Hospital, however, I've lead a normal life.

Answered by anonymous
6 years 1 month ago
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Hello everyone my name is Juan im from Montevideo, Uruguay.
I had my spleen removed 8/3/08.
that means one shoot 5 years repeat for help not get bad bugs in youre system.
Bad bike wreck also broke leg witch needed titanium rod and also shoulder because hit road hard and stop in back of Suv.
Besides all the pain i think ill be all right.
I'll never ride again.
If i arrived at hospital 15 minutes later the doctor said i would die.
I was lucky i guess but thats not always like that.
So if you ride be carefull and remember it can hapen to anyone.

Comments

anonymous
commented 5 years 11 months ago

i had the similar bike accident and had my spleen removed but dont u have to take a shot every 3 and 5 years two differnt shots

anonymous
commented 3 years 6 months ago

I lost my spleen from a motocross crash, gnarley scar.

anonymous
commented 5 years 2 months ago

I'm 21 years old and suddenly woke up with searing pain in my left sides and in my left shoulder. After DR.'s trying to save my spontaneously ruptured spleen (not caused by trauma), i kept bleeding internally and had to have my spleen removed. I'm not recovering alright but still have no answers as to why my spleen ruptured so severely. I was told Mono could cause splenic enlargement, but i had mono when i was 17 and it seems unlikely that is the culprit. Anyone with a similar experience or situation have insight/advice? Thanks. -Steve (OHIO)

anonymous
commented 3 years 4 months ago

WOW, one of the few in the U.S.! I 7 months ago I experienced the exact same thing- spleen ruptured, left side pain, not ca=used by rauma (tho at least 15 doctors asked me at least 40 times if I had an accident!) I also had mono at age 19, and was told I had it again after my surgery. Then I was told it was dormant 2 weeks later, and now acute 3 months after that (and also infected my boyfriend). had 5 teams of doctors wrking on me for several days. The hospital relied on a 40 hour old CT scan without contrast so they didnt check it with a simple CT immediately and Iended up in cristical care before they even checked---told I nearly died three times, and if I hadnot caled 911 after 9 hours of that searing pain I wouldve died in my bed! I was in the hospital for a month with numeroud complications daily even after the emergency operation. They said it was not likely that mono caused it and that I was one on 5 people in America that had this severe spleen issue without blunt force trauma. However--I had been vomiting for 6 DAYS straight and my assertation is that the intensive heaving WAS the cause and is trauma! I still received no answers, and no one from the hospital will speak to me because I wrote a letter regarding my care and their lack of diagnostics. I am still in lots of pain even 7 months later, experiencing now 2 large hematomas. 1 was removed in was so large; i have one now but no surgeon will touch me. (??????) I also still have mono and my quality of life has been null since this traumatic experience. I have been told mono COULD be a cause in RAREST of cases but agin, still no anwers as to why it happened besides my own theory. I wish you all the best... may I ask how long you had the mono? and did you experience ay hematomas after surgery? and how long was your recovery? Thanks, JoJo

anonymous
commented 3 years 11 months ago

Hi. When I was 9 I had Mono. At 12 I had a horse riding accident that broke my back and ruptured my spleen. The excellent specialists who saved my life educated me with what happened. Having mono apparently weakens the spleen tissue lining. So, when I fell...I broke. I am now 47, living a full life with wellness in mind every day. I cherish every sunrise and sunset, the voices of my family, smells of the outdoors and so many other things some take for granted.

anonymous
commented 4 years 6 months ago

Im twenty four years old and had my spleen removed due to rupture in September of 2008! I never felt any pain only swollen lymphnodes in my neck. I was watching tv one day and felt a pop in my lower abdomen accompanied by severe pain throughout my neck chest and shoulders. When I arrived at the hospital in the ambulance the Dr. said that my spleen had ruptured due to Mono and needed an emergency splenectomy. The last two years after the surgery have been pretty much normal I havent been sick yet and would also like to know the average lifespan without a spleen.

anonymous
commented 4 years 11 months ago

My spleen ruptured unexpectedly, while watching t.v., and was rushed to hosp. for emergency surgery. I am 68 and this happened 3 years ago. I blame the rupture on Prozac which up until this time I had been taking for two and a half years. When I catch a cold it takes me a month to get rid of it.

anonymous
commented 4 years 7 months ago

I lost my spleen in 1999, 11 years ago. I take a while to recover from colds, bruise easy and cannot donate blood. I lost my spleen due to glandular fever (mono), this was confirmed with tests at the time of the rupture. My spleen had a blood clot and go bigger to the point of bursting. I take antibiotics every day and have the usual jabs which asplenic people have. I would like to knw my life span too! I am now 47 years old.

anonymous
commented 4 years 6 months ago

I as well lost my spleen in an auto accident in '07. however, i have not been sick or even close since it was removed. is that odd? no vaccines. I used to get sick twice a year before it was removed. I live in Vermont so the flu is always around, all four seasons.

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