What is the Spleen?
The spleen is a blood-filled organ located in the upper left abdominal cavity. It is a storage organ for red blood cells and an immune system organ with specialized white blood cells called macrophages or disease-fighting cells which filter the blood. Removing old and damaged blood particles from the body is the job of the spleen, making it part of the immune system. The spleen also helps the body identify and kill bacteria. The spleen can affect the platelet count, the red blood cell count and even the white blood count. Physicians at The Nebraska Medical Center perform spleen removal surgery using minimally invasive technology.
- Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura (ITP)
- Hemolytic Anemia
- Hereditary or genetic conditions
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Enlarged spleen resulting in too many platelets being removed from the blood
- Blood supply to the spleen is blocked or the artery abnormally expands, forming an aneurysm