Dwayne Carswell of the Denver Broncos was recently in a five car accident that caused major damage to him. Dwayne had to have his spleen removed in a procedure called a splenectomy. Carswell suffered broken ribs, a ruptured spleen and other injuries in the accident.
What is a spleen? The spleen is an organ in the human body that helps remove dead red blood cells and other nasty items from your bloodstream. You can think of it as a strainer for your blood. The spleen itself is a spongy type of tissue.
Do you need a spleen? No, your body can properly work without a spleen. There is a slight, increased risk of infections that you normally wouldn’t get.
How are spleens damaged? Spleens suffer damage during traumatic accidents, cancer and infection. In the case of Dwayne Carswell, the auto accident caused his spleen to rupture. When this happens the spleen begins to hemorrhage.
How do you know if you have a ruptured spleen? Here are some symptoms of a ruptured spleen:
- Broken ribs on the left side of the body
- Left shoulder pain
- Left neck pain
How do you treat a ruptured spleen? A splenectomy is the procedure to remove the spleen surgically. Most of the times a spleen can be removed through a laparoscopic process that is minimally invasive. In some cases the damage is too severe or the need is to great. At that point normal surgery is called for. They’re slicing you open at that point.
What is the recovery process for a splenectomy? There is no rehabilitation needed after surgery, though the patient should become ambulatory as soon as possible. A patient can resume driving in a month, and contact sports in a month and a half.