Digestion Q&A by Dr. Marks

I have an enlarged spleen with varices and I would like to know if this is something I should worry about.

Medical Author Dr. Jay W. Marks
Medical Editor Dr. Dennis Lee


An enlarged spleen always is abnormal and should be evaluated by a physician. The presence of varices (enlarged blood vessels), I presume, refers to varices of the esophagus. If this is true, it implies that there is obstruction to the flow of blood from the spleen (and possibly other organs within the abdomen) to or through the liver. The back-up of blood leads to the enlarged blood vessels and spleen. The most common cause of this situation is liver disease.

Thank you for your question.

Last Editorial Review: 12/11/2006

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