When a person has an enlarged, painful spleen, diagnosing and treating the underlying causes can prevent the need for surgery in most cases, according to WebMD.com. Limiting activities that can rupture a spleen is very important because a ruptured spleen can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding.
Some of the underlying illnesses causing an enlarged spleen include cirrhosis of the liver, certain causes of viral hepatitis and infectious diseases, such as malaria and tuberculosis, notes MedicineNet. When the onset of these illnesses are anticipated or prevented, treatments can avoid the need for surgery on an enlarged spleen. The spleen is a major filter of blood and bacteria, and limiting alcohol consumption is important in preventing the need for surgery.
Hepatitis B, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver, can be prevented with a vaccination, explains MedicineNet. Avoiding contact with body fluids from people infected with hepatitis B or hepatitis C can prevent catching the virus and causing an enlarged spleen. Minimizing the risks of contracting malaria, HIV and tuberculosis by taking appropriate measures can prevent removal of an enlarged spleen. For patients with infectious mononucleosis, once the infection is gone, the spleen returns to normal size.
An enlarged spleen may need to be surgically removed if it is left untreated, states WebMD.