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Enlarged Spleen (Splenomegaly) (cont.)

Enlarged Spleen Self-Care at Home

Enlarged spleen is generally caused by another medical condition that will require medical treatment.

Enlarged Spleen Medical Treatment

The treatment of splenomegaly essentially depends on the cause of it.

In many conditions, the spleen enlarges a result of performing its normal physiologic function in response to another medical condition, for example, cirrhosis. The main objective is then not necessarily to improve splenomegaly that is a consequence of the disease, but to treat the underlying cause, such as cirrhosis.

In many other situations, such as infections, lymphomas, or leukemias, again the treatment is directed towards the underlying disorder, using antibiotics or chemotherapy.

Surgery for Enlarged Spleen

Occasionally, the indicated treatment is surgical removal of the spleen (splenectomy) in order to control the causative conditions. Some conditions in which splenectomy may be considered are hairy cell leukemia, thalassemia major, splenic vein thrombosis, Gaucher disease, and ITP. A careful consideration of risks versus benefits of surgery is the most prudent approach.

It is important to note the importance of vaccination in cases of splenectomy. People without a spleen (asplenia) are at a high risk for significant infections with Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, and Hemophilus influenzae. Therefore, vaccination against these bacteria (pneumococcal vaccine, meningococcal vaccine, hemophilus vaccine) is strongly recommended in anyone who undergoes splenectomy.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/19/2016

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