If you are interested in living a long and healthy life, it is important to keep your organs healthy. What might surprise you is the fact that you can actually live without some of your organs. Knowing which organs can be eliminated surgically without ending your life can open your eyes to the possibilities.
1. A Lung
Did you realize that Pope Francis is living with only one lung? He had one removed when he was a teenager because of an infection. The Pope, and many other people who are living with only a single lung provide proof that it is possible.
According to experts, when you have one lung removed the other lung makes up for it by increasing in size. You will likely be able to live a normal life with only a single lung but you might have to curtail your participation in strenuous exercise and sports.
2. The Kidney
There are two kidneys in a healthy human body. Some people have to have a kidney removed surgically and other people may be born with only a single kidney. There are even instances in which both kidneys are removed from the body, as is the case with some types of kidney damage or genetic conditions.
In order for an individual to live successfully without both of the kidneys, they will have to be on dialysis. It uses a machine that carries out the primary function of the kidneys.
Food is broken down in the stomach with enzymes and digestive acids. The absorption of most of the nutrients from the foods that we eat, however, occurs in the small intestine. The exception to this rule is alcohol, which is absorbed in the stomach. Since you can still absorb nutrients without a stomach, you can live without that organ.
The main reasons why people may need to live without a stomach are because of cancer or trauma. When the stomach is removed, the esophagus is attached directly to the opening of the small intestine to keep the digestive tract intact.
The spleen is located next to the stomach and it has the job of recycling red blood cells and fighting bacteria that can lead to some infections. This would include pneumonia and meningitis.
The liver and parts of your immune system take on the same roles as the spleen so it can be considered to be a redundant organ. The spleen is commonly removed due to trauma. Since it is close to your rib cage, a fractured rib could rupture the spleen and require its removal.
The gallbladder is located under the liver and it stores bile, a liquid that is produced by the liver. Bile helps with the breakdown and digestion of fats.
The liver actually produces the bile that your gastrointestinal tract needs so you can successfully live without a gallbladder. Most doctors will recommend that you eat a low-fat diet if you don’t have that organ because eating something fatty can cause abdominal pain and frequent bowel movements.
6. Reproductive organs
The ovaries and testes are the primary reproductive organs is in females and males. Other parts of the reproductive system can also be removed surgically, including the uterus.
The primary effect of having your reproductive organs removed is the inability to have children. In addition, some of those reproductive organs may also secrete hormones that affect the body in different ways. As a result, hormone replacement therapy may be needed after certain productive organs are removed.