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The spleen is an organ in the upper left side of the abdomen that
filters the blood by removing old or damaged blood cells and platelets and
helps the immune system by destroying bacteria and other foreign substances. It
also holds extra blood that can be released into the circulatory system, if
The spleen is a useful but nonessential organ. It is sometimes
removed (splenectomy) in people who have blood disorders, such as thalassemia
or hemolytic anemia. If the spleen is removed, a person must get certain
immunizations to help prevent infections that the spleen normally
Current as of:
May 24, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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