Identify the spleen and examine its relationship to the visceral organs which contact its surface. Review the relationship of the hilum of the spleen to the tail of the pancreas. The end of the tail of the pancreas passes within the lienorenal ligament and contacts the hilum of the spleen. Mobilize the spleen and identify the splenic artery and vein (Figure 38.3).
Identify the two surfaces of the spleen: the diaphragmatic surface and the visceral surface. The diaphragmatic surface is smooth and rounded. The visceral surface is subdivided into three areas, the gastric surface, the renal surface, and the colic surface.The anterior border of the spleen is notched.
This feature is clinically important because it enables a physician to differentiate an enlarged spleen (splenomegaly) from an enlarged liver (hepatomegaly).
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