Is Having an Extra Spleen Dangerous?

  • Medical Author:
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

  • Medical Editor: Dennis Lee, MD
    Dennis Lee, MD

    Dennis Lee, MD

    Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

woman with abdominal pain

Ask the experts

I have a problem in regard to my spleen (or I should say "spleens"), because I have an extra spleen. Doctors call it (an accessory spleen). Should I be concerned about this extra spleen?

Doctor's response

Occasionally individuals are born with more than one spleen. In fact, the total amount of splenic tissue in these individuals is about the same as in an individual with a single spleen, but the tissue is separated into two (sometimes more) separate pieces. One piece often is smaller than the other and is referred to as an accessory spleen. Multiple (accessory) spleens do not cause medical problems, and nothing is done about them. Rarely, accessory spleens may be confused with tumors. They usually can be definitely identified by radionuclide liver-spleen scans.

Medically reviewed by Venkatachala Mohan, MD; Board Certified Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Gastroenterology

REFERENCE:

"Approach to the adult patient with splenomegaly and other splenic disorders"
UpToDate.com


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Reviewed on 7/7/2017

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