What Job Does the Spleen Do for the Body?

The spleen is a vital organ and located in the abdomen on the left side of the body, It is the size of a small fist and protected by the rib cage. Even though the spleen is important, a human being can survive without a spleen.


The spleen has two types of spongy, pulpy tissues, red and white pulp. The red pulp cleanses the blood. The white pulp destroys invaders such as bacteria, or viruses. The white pulp is part of the immune system that makes white blood cells, called lymphocytes, that produce antibodies to help fight infection.


The spleen has several functions, even though it is not an important organ for survival. It manufactures antibodies that help resist infection, stores blood and removes harmful bacteria from the blood and elements old red blood cells.

Englargement of the Spleen

An enlargement of the spleen is a common illness and represents symptoms of underlying conditions such as anemia or an infection.

Signs and Symptoms of an Enlarged Spleen

Enlarged spleens usually are not painful but pain can be felt in the left shoulder, back or pressure against the stomach. Other symptoms can include fatigue and bleeding easily.

Risk Factors

Anyone can develop an enlarged spleen at any age. A person is more susceptible to infections without a spleen. If a spleen ruptures, medical care is needed to control the bleeding by surgery.

The spleen is a vital organ and located in the abdomen on the left side of the body