Can you live without a spleen? ( spleen functions )


The spleen is located in the upper left abdominal cavity, just beneath the diaphragm, and next to the stomach. It is similar to a lymph node in shape and structure but it is much larger. An easy way to remember the anatomy of the spleen is the 1×3×5×7×9×11 rule. The spleen is 1″ by 3″ by 5″, weighs approximately 7 oz, and lies between the 9th and 11th ribs on the left-hand side. 

Your spleen is considered part of the lymphatic system. The spleen consists of two types of tissue called white pulp and red pulp. The white pulp is lymphatic tissue consisting mainly of lymphocytes around arteries. The red pulp consists of sinuses filled with blood and lymphatic cells, As blood is filtered through the spleen old and damaged red blood cells are removed from the blood. In addition, the spleen produces lymphocytes in response to invading pathogens found in the blood. The spleen is like a large lymph node that filters blood instead of lymph looking for invaders like harmful bacteria. White blood cells stored in the spleen help remove and eliminate these invaders. It is particularly helpful when fighting meningitis and pneumonia. The spleen also stores blood. The sinuses in the red pulp of the spleen are filled with blood and can be used in case of an emergency. You can live without your spleen, and your immune system won’t shut down without a spleen, but it won’t operate as efficiently.