Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Spleen, Everything You Wanted to Know and Then Some....

Not that many of us spend too much time pondering the spleen, however, should you have the desire for a deeper understanding of how medical knowledge of the spleen has evolved over the centuries, check out this engaging article (full length, PDF format).

Historically an enigmatic organ, the spleen was commonly associated with anger and emotion. By the 19th century, splenectomies were being performed for various maladies that resulted in an enlarged spleen. One 19th century surgeon performed a series of splenectomies with reckless abandon, reporting an 88% mortality rate! That did not seem to deter the practice of splenic removal.

Thank goodness that our understanding of the spleen has deepened significantly and that splenectomies are performed more cautiously and with much improved outcomes. 


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