What You Need To Know About A Spleen Cyst

A spleen cyst or any type of spleen injury can pose potential for a life-threatening situation if not treated promptly.  The most vascular organ in the body is the spleen and a large amount of blood travels through it everyday.  This is an organ that is sometimes injured due to thoracoabdominal trauma occurring and injuries to the spleen represent around 25% of injuries toward the abdominal viscera.  Many penetrating injuries also involve the spleen alongside other abdominal organs.

To understand the seriousness of a spleen cyst, it is helpful to understand where the organ itself is located.  It is protected by your ribcage laterally, anteriorly and posteriorly.  The spleen is in direct contact with many vital abdominal organs such as the left diaphragm, the pancreatic tail, the stomach, left kidney, adrenal gland and splenic flexure.

A spleen cyst can be mistaken in diagnosis as a spleen injury.  Many patients will complain of left abdominal pain or their stomach feeling very full without eating.  Although a splenic rupture is not generally difficult to diagnose, the radiologist will have first have to be sure that the injury is not indeed foreign material, hematoma, fluid accumulation, infarcts, malignant tumors, benign tumors, splenic rupture, sarcoidosis, amyloidosis, infection, secondary trauma or a spleen cyst.

A spleen cyst is caused by a bacterial endocarditis and can commonly be in association of perisplenic fluid.  These cysts are classified in four separate categories being congenital, vascular, inflammatory or neoplastic.  If you have a spleen cyst you may have a swelled or sore stomach and back pain that spreads across to the left shoulder.  The pain in your shoulder is particularly likely if parts of your spleen are not getting enough blood and begin to die.  You may also have difficulty eating a large meal or have the hiccups quite often for no apparent reason.

To begin the diagnosis process of a spleen cyst, the doctor will first question you about your recent and past medical history and perform a thorough physical exam of your abdomen by tapping along the upper left quadrant area of your abdomen and just under your ribcage.  After this then the doctor will order an abdominal x-ray, blood tests, CT scan ultra sound, magnetic resonance imaging and other specialized test and scans to be performed.

If a spleen cyst, infections, cancers or other disorders exist then some people will require a partial spleen removal or an entire removal of the spleen depending on the seriousness and progression of the condition.  An entire removal is called a splenectomy.  If only a partial removal takes place, then your spleen might regenerate itself. 

If your entire spleen is removed then no regeneration will occur and your other organs will take over the job that your spleen once performed.  Removal of the spleen can assist in preventing extreme bleeding from injury and treat disease that can cause a disruption in blood cells or also treat cancers that involve the spleen.  Removal could be necessary but it can also cause a risk of infection but the risk is necessary of infection is worth the chance if the spleen is destroying red blood cells, causes a decrease in white blood cells, decreases blood platelets or parts of the organ are dying.

If you have a swollen or sore stomach, pain in your shoulder or feel full when you have not eaten anything then you should consider that you could have a spleen cyst or any other type of injury or disease related to your spleen.   You should seek medical attention immediately to prevent any progression to a more serious condition.


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