TAT Partial Spleenectomy = Impossible for piercing?

Discussion in 'Vaginarium' started by SyKrash, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. SyKrash

    SyKrash New Member

    Feb 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    West Hollywood, CA
    I've been looking into getting my lip pierced for about a year now. However I have some complications, lemme give a backstory.

    In January 2003, I ruptured my spleen on a plane flight home from New Jersey to Arizona, where I was supposed to get on a connecting flight back to San Diego. I ended up in the hospital, and had a partial spleenectomy performed a couple days after.

    The doctors removed half of my spleen, and then stitched me up and I was back home a couple weeks later.

    When I got back, I was still interested in the piercing but I got differing reports and alot of inconclusive evidence from alot of doctors. Some said that because of my half a spleen I have a higher risk for infection and disease, while others say my immune system is exactly the same as before.

    Now with a piercing in the mouth area, I hear that there is a higher risk of infection in this area because you have to constantly clean it, etc. etc. as compared to a piercing that's elsewhere.

    Now what I'm trying to figure out is whether a lip piercing (taking worst case scenario) is possible for someone with a lower, or poor immune system (I.E people with aids, 1 kidney, etc....or in my case half a spleen)

    Does anyone have an experience with this, or know where I can find more information?

    Cliffs: I have half a spleen, will I get infected from a lip piercing? My doctors provide differing opinions.
  2. mymilkexpired

    mymilkexpired New Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Houston, TX
    I dont know that i could knowingly recommend any piercing to anyone that may have a permenantly diminished immune system. Although my personal opinion is that you can heal a piercing w/o infection IF: you keep your stinkin paws off of it :) and you clean it correclty.

    I say do some more research on this whole spleen thing and then make a decision...
  3. mymilkexpired

    mymilkexpired New Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Houston, TX
    Read these:

    Just a few sites i found when researching this a bit. i havent come across any medical studies yet to truely verify the spleen/infection connection BUT if you do decided you want to still do it, i suppose its just a matter of good hygene and pay particular attention to your lymph nodes to catch any possible signs of an infection...

    Edit, add some links:

    [Articles Start Here]

    Shaped much like a loose fist and tucked under the left side of the diaphragm, the spleen is the most ignored and misunderstood of all organs. After all, we read numerous times that someone in an automobile accident or a fight has a ruptured spleen so the spleen is removed (splenectomy) and life goes on.
    What we don't read about is that splenectomized people later have problems with overwhelming bacterial infections of the blood (sepsis). What does this suggest as the function of the spleen?

    The spleen receives blood from an artery off of the aorta. After passing through an intricate meshwork of tiny blood vessels, the blood continues to the liver. The blood vessels of the spleen are surrounded by nests of B lymphocytes - mainly of the memory type. As the blood slowly moves through the spleen, it is monitored by T-cells for any non-self invaders. If some suspicious cell or molecule is detected, it is presented to the resident B-cells for a match to an appropriate memory B-cell. Once a matching B-cell is activated, the cell divides rapidly and begins producing antibodies directed against the invading antigen.

    The spleen blood vessels are also lined with macrophages which swallow and digest debris in the blood such as worn out red blood cells and platelets. In a disease such as mononucleosis, the macrophages in the spleen become overactive and trap a higher number of white blood cells. In the process, the spleen becomes swollen and may even rupture.



    The spleen is formed by reticular and lymphatic tissue and is the largest lymph organ. The spleen lies in the left hypochondriac region of the abdominal cavity between the fundus of the stomach and the diaphragm. It is purplish in colour and varies in size in different individuals, but it is usually about 120mm (4.75 inches) long, 70mm wide (2.75 inches) and 25 mm (1 inch) thick. It weighs about 0.2 Kg (just under half a pound).

    Structure: The spleen is slightly oval in shape with the hilum on the lower medial border. The anterior surface is covered with peritoneum. It is enclosed in a fibroelastic capsule that dips into the organ, forming trabeculae. The cellular material, consisting of lymphocytes and macrophages, is called splenic pulp, and it lies between the trabeculae. Red pulp is the part suffused with blood and white pulp consists of areas of lymphatic tissue where there are sleeves of lymphocytes and macrophages around blood vessels.

    The picture on the left shows the position of the spleen on the left side of the body

    Click on the image to see a diagram of the spleen

    The structures entering and leaving the spleen and the hilum are:

    splenic artery, a branch of the coeliac artery
    splenic vein, a branch of the portal vein
    lymph vessels (efferent only)

    Blood passing through the spleen flows in sinuses which have distinct pores between the endothelial cells, allowing it to come into close association with splenic pulp. One of the main functions of the spleen is to bring blood into contact with lymphocytes. As blood flows slowly through the spleen, any disease organisms within it are likely to come into contact with lymphocytes in the spleen tissue. This contact activates the lymphocytes, which can then attack the foreign invaders. (This process will be discussed in more detail in later lectures which deal with immune function.) As blood flows through the spleen, macrophages remove worn-out red and white blood cells and platelets. These macrophages produce the pigment bilirubin from the breakdown of haemoglobin and release it into the blood plasma. Bilirubin is removed from the blood by the liver and kidneys and is excreted in the bile and to a lesser extent in the urine. Because a great deal of blood circulates through the spleen, this organ serves as a kind of reservoir for blood. Adrenaline and sympathetic nerve discharge stimulate the spleen to contract, releasing much of its blood into the circulation. This function is important especially during haemorrhage, but it is not considered essential in humans. (The reservoir function of the spleen is considered especially important in dogs and other carnivores.) The spleen appears to store platelets in humans, and a large percentage of the body's platelets are normally found there. Although the spleen performs many important functions it is not vital to life. Fortunately so, for of all the abdominal organs, the spleen is the one most easily and most frequently injured. A severe blow or crushing injury to the upper abdomen or lower left chest may fracture the ribs that protect the spleen and cause rupture of the spleen itself. When the spleen is ruptured, extensive, sometimes massive haemorrhage occurs. This condition is usually treated by prompt surgical removal of the spleen (splenectomy) to prevent death due to loss of blood and shock. (When surgery--either splenectomy or occasionally surgical repair--is not performed on an injured spleen, the mortality rate is about 90%.) When the spleen is surgically removed, some of its functions are taken over by the bone marrow and liver; other functions are simply absent, and the body manages without them.


    Role of the lymphatic system in immunity

    Lymph nodules are small masses of lymph tissue (up to a millimetre or so in diameter) in which lymphocytes are produced. Lymph nodules are scattered throughout loose connective tissue, especially beneath moist epithelial membranes such as those that line the upper respiratory tract, intestine, and urinary tract. Lymph nodules appear to be strategically distributed to defend the body against disease organisms that penetrate the lining of passageways that communicate with the outside of the body. A lymph nodule consists mainly of large numbers of lymphocytes enmeshed within reticular fibres. Lymph nodules do not have vessels bringing lymph to them. The periphery of the nodule is not sharply defined. Some lymph nodules develop germinal centres, central areas filled with immature lymphocytes. Here new lymphocytes proliferate from stem cells that originate in the bone marrow. The lighter-staining germinal centre is surrounded by a darker-staining region called the cortex.

    Most lymphatic nodules are small and solitary. However, Some are found in large clusters. For example large aggregates of lymph nodules occur in the wall of the lower portion (ileum) of the small intestine. These large masses of lymph nodules are known as Peyer's patches. Tonsils are also aggregates of lymph nodules. They are located strategically to defend against invading bacteria. The tonsils produce lymphocytes. They are located under the epithelial lining of the oral cavity and pharynx. The lingual tonsils are located at the base of the tongue. The single pharyngeal tonsil is located in the posterior wall of the nasal portion of the pharynx above the soft palate and is often referred to as the adenoids.

    So to summarise lymph nodules comprise:

    palatine and lingual tonsils--between the mouth and the oral part of the pharynx.
    pharyngeal tonsil--on the wall of the nasal part of the pharynx
    solitary lymphatic follicles
    aggregated lymphatic follicles (Peyer's patches)--in the wall of the small intestine
    vermiform appendix--an outgrowth from the caecum (first part of the large intestine).

    Collectively this tissue is referred to as mucosa associated lymph tissue (MALT) and along with the spleen and thymus it is involved in the development of immunity. However, unlike lymph nodes, MALT has no afferent lymph vessels and therefore does not filter lymph. MALT is strategically positioned to protect the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts from microbes and other foreign material which has entered.

    Lymph Nodes

    All the small and medium-sized lymph vessels open into lymph nodes which are situated in strategic positions throughout the body. The lymph drains through a number of nodes, usually 8 to 10, before returning to the blood. These nodes vary considerably in size: some are as small as a pin head and the largest are about size of an almond.

    Lymph nodes have a surrounding capsule of fibrous tissue which dips down into the node substance forming partitions, or trabeculae. The main substance of the node consists of reticular and lymphatic tissue containing many lymphocytes and macrophages. As many as four or five afferent Iymph vessels may enter a lymph node while only one efferent vessel carries lymph away from the node. Each node has a concave surface called the hilum where an artery enters and vein and the efferent lymph vessel leave. The large numbers of lymph nodes situated in strategic positions throughout the body deep and superficial groups.

    Lymph nodes are found throughout the body the picture shows the positioning of some of the major groups of lymph nodes.

    [1] Mastoid and Sub occipital nodes of the head

    [2] Cervical lymph nodes of the neck

    [3] Axillary lymph nodes under the arms

    [4] Inguinal lymph nodes of the groin area

    [5] Popliteal noded behind the knee

    An enlargement of these nodes is common in inflammation and malignant disease. As a result palpation (feeling) of the neck, armpits and the groin area is an important part of clinical investigation

    Lymph from the head and neck passes through deep and superficial cervical nodes. Lymph from the upper limbs passes through nodes situated in the elbow region then through the deep and superficial axillary nodes. Lymph from organs and tissues in the thoracic cavity drains through groups of nodes, including: parasternal, intercostal, brachiocephalic, mediastinal, tracheobronchial, bronchopulmonary and oesophageal nodes.

    Most of the lymph from the breast passes through the axillary nodes. Lymph from the pelvic and abdominal cavities passes through many lymph nodes before entering the cisterna chyli. The abdominal and pelvic nodes are situated mainly in association with the blood vessels supplying the organs and close to the main arteries, i.e. the aorta and the external and internal iliac arteries. The lymph from the lower limbs drains through deep and superficial nodes including popliteal nodes and inguinal nodes.

    Functions of lymph nodes

    Filtering and phagocytosis

    Lymph is filtered by the reticular and lymphoid tissue as it passes through lymph nodes. Particulate matter may include microbes, dead and live phagocytes containing ingested microbes, cells from malignant tumours, worn out and damaged tissue cells, and inhaled particles. Organic material is destroyed in the lymph nodes by macrophages and antibodies. Some inorganic inhaled particles cannot be destroyed by phagocytosis. These remain inside the macrophage either causing no damage or destroying it. Material not filtered off and dealt with in one lymph node passes on to the next and so on. Thus by the time the lymph reaches the blood it has usually been cleaned of all impurities such as cell debris and foreign bodies. In some instances where phagocytation is incomplete the node may swell. Swelling of lymph nodes is often an indication of an infection. You may well have experienced swollen cervical lymph nodes. These often accompany a sore throat due to streptoccocal infection. Infections in almost any part of thre body may result in swelling and tenderness of the lymph nodes associated with that part of the body.

    Proliferation of lymphocytes

    Activated T- and B- lymphocytes multiply in the lymph nodes. T- and B- Lymphocytes are added to the lymph as it flows through the sinuses of a lymph node. Thus the lymph leaving the node is richer in lymphocytes. Antibodies produced by the B- lymphocytes enter the lymph and the blood draining the node.

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