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Enlarged Spleen

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  • An enlarged spleen may cause: no symptoms in some cases, pain or fullness in the left upper abdomen that may spread to the left shoulder, feeling full without eating or after eating only a small amount-this can occur when an enlarged spleen presses on your stomach, anemia, fatigue, frequent infections, easy bleeding etc. If the cause of an enlarged spleen can be identified, treatment focuses on the underlying problem. If you have an enlarged spleen, avoid contact sports - such as soccer, football, hockey etc.
  • A number of conditions — from infections to liver disease and some cancers - can cause an enlarged spleen, also known as splenomegaly (spleh-no-MEG-uh-lee). Most people don't have symptoms with an enlarged spleen. The problem is often discovered during a routine physical exam. Your doctor can't feel a normal-sized spleen in adults — unless you're very slender — but can feel an enlarged spleen. If you have an enlarged spleen, your doctor will likely request imaging and blood tests to help identify the cause. Treatment for an enlarged spleen focuses on relieving the underlying condition. Surgically removing an enlarged spleen isn't usually the first treatment, but it may be recommended in certain situations.
  • No race predilection is recognized for splenomegaly. Unlike sickle cell disease that results in a small, autoinfarcted spleen, patients with hemoglobin SC disease may have splenomegaly that accompanies their pigment gallstones. Tropical splenomegaly syndrome (or hyperactive malarial syndrome) has a female-to-male incidence ratio of 2:1. Otherwise, no sex predilection is documented for splenomegaly. No age predilection is recognized for splenomegaly.
 

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