Enlarged Spleen (Splenomegaly) Symptoms

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

The spleen is an organ that helps filter the blood and fight infection. It is located in the left upper part of the abdomen under your ribs. Having an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly) can be very uncomfortable or you may have no symptoms of an enlarged spleen.

Your doctor usually finds an enlarged spleen when a physical exam is performed. Feeling an enlarged mass in the left, upper part of the abdomen is a sign the spleen is enlarged.

Symptoms you may experience with an enlarged spleen include:

  • feeling full without eating a large meal,
  • pressure or pain in the left upper part of your abdomen (near the stomach),
  • or pain your left shoulder blade or shoulder area when taking a deep breath.

An enlarged spleen is often due to other diseases, so you may have accompanying symptoms such as:

Symptoms are similar in children.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care

REFERENCES:

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

UpToDate. Approach to the child with an enlarged spleen.

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