What does the spleen do?
The spleen is located in the upper left side of your abdomen just behind the ribs. The spleen filters the blood. It helps to keep your body healthy by clearing blood-borne bacteria. The spleen can be removed and a person can still lead a long and healthy life.
What is a spleen laceration?
A spleen laceration is a tear that affects the main blood vessels to the spleen. A tear can be any size from small to large. The risk with a spleen tear is that it may bleed.
What tests will I need?
- CT scan is a test that uses x-rays to obtain detailed pictures of the spleen.
- Blood draws check if bleeding has caused a drop in your blood counts.
- Physical exam may be done to see if you have pain in your abdomen.
How is it treated?
Blood will be drawn every six hours to watch your blood levels. If your blood levels remain stable, surgery is not needed. If your blood levels started to decrease you will keep be watched or further tests may be done. Some people have to have surgery to have the spleen removed in order to stop the bleeding.
What to expect while in the hospital?
- You may be on bed rest to prevent increasing the size of the tear or causing more bleeding
- You may not be allowed to eat until your doctor decides whether you will be going to surgery or not.
- Your blood will be drawn by the lab or the nurse to assess your blood levels
- In some cases, a blood transfusion may be helpful. This will be talked over with you in detail if the need occurs.
- Some people have pain where the bleeding occurs You pain will be treated with pain medicine.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 02/08/2010
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