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Old 08-13-2013, 09:04 PM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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A list of organs you can live without

I'm trying to compile a complete list of human organs that you can live without. I am willing to accept some quality of life detriments, but they can't be too severe. For example, you can't effectively live without kidneys for very long, even though there are ways to keep you alive through direct medical intervention for a while until a transplant is available. So, if you would need routine medical intervention or assistance without it, it doesn't count for my list. If it just causes life to be a bit tougher, weakens your immune system, or whatever else, it is fine for my purposes. I'm also not interested in things like limbs, hair, etc... unless it's actually classified medically as an organ, don't bother mentioning it please.

Some organs I have thought of:

Gall Bladder
Spleen
pretty much every reproductive organ

Can you help add to my list?
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2013, 09:10 PM
DCnDC DCnDC is online now
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Appendix
Stomach
  #3  
Old 08-13-2013, 09:16 PM
rsat3acr rsat3acr is offline
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colon
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:18 PM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is online now
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One of your lungs, one of your kidneys (or both if you undergo dialysis).

You can also remove the entire large intestine and most of the small intestine.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:21 PM
IvoryTowerDenizen IvoryTowerDenizen is online now
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Eyes
Thyroid
  #6  
Old 08-13-2013, 09:23 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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Eyes
Ears (considering the inner ear as the organ of hearing)
Thyroid
Urinary bladder

Last edited by Colibri; 08-13-2013 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:24 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Eyes - limit it to one of them if you don't want to degrade the quality of life too much.

Ears - ditto

Nose

Tonsils/adenoids/etc.

Salivary glands (is that an organ? I think so, but I'm too lazy too look it up.)

Thyroid

Breasts

Esophagus

Intestines, large and/or small. (It's not pleasant, but it's possible to survive after removal of the total small intestine; you'll need to be on TPN (food via IV) for the rest of your life.)

Bladder

Not sure if it counts, because you can't live with the whole thing gone, but you can lose 1/2 your liver without much trouble.

Since you nixed kidneys, I take it "one lung" is cheating?

Last edited by WhyNot; 08-13-2013 at 09:26 PM. Reason: I gotta learn to type faster...
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:30 PM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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You can live without a functioning pancreas, but it requires medical intervention to deal with the resulting diabetes and inability to properly digest food.

My abdomen is my cite.

Last edited by Smeghead; 08-13-2013 at 09:30 PM.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:31 PM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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Remember folks, routine medical intervention means you 'can't live without' it for my purposes.

So if you can't live without routine IV feeding or whatever after having all your intestines removed, that's a no go.

And sorry, to the pancreas. If you can't live without injections or other medications, if you would literally die without them, then that doesn't count for my list either.

Thanks for the help so far!

Last edited by drewtwo99; 08-13-2013 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:34 PM
Ranger Jeff Ranger Jeff is offline
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Any except Hammond B3's or something with similar capabilities and sounds. Though Ray Manzarek did pretty well with his Vox Continental.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:35 PM
SanDiegoTim SanDiegoTim is offline
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Spleen. My son had his removed as the result of a car accident. Without it, however, one becomes more susceptible to certain infections.
  #12  
Old 08-13-2013, 09:35 PM
panache45 panache45 is offline
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You can remove certain areas of your brain without sacrificing much.

(Many people wouldn't even miss it.)
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:03 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is offline
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Thinking of trying to patent a new weight-loss system?
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:11 PM
Martian Bigfoot Martian Bigfoot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewtwo99 View Post
pretty much every reproductive organ
Hey! Speak for yourself.
  #15  
Old 08-13-2013, 10:32 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewtwo99 View Post
Remember folks, routine medical intervention means you 'can't live without' it for my purposes.
Hmmm...how are we defining "medical intervention"? Do catheters count? What if you self-cath? If a cath counts, does an ostomy bag? Daily medications forever? Injected or oral? What about fairly frequent antibiotics due to lowered immunity and frequent infections? Vitamin Supplements?

You might have lost most of this thread, depending on how you answer.
  #16  
Old 08-13-2013, 10:53 PM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhyNot View Post
Hmmm...how are we defining "medical intervention"? Do catheters count? What if you self-cath? If a cath counts, does an ostomy bag? Daily medications forever? Injected or oral? What about fairly frequent antibiotics due to lowered immunity and frequent infections? Vitamin Supplements?

You might have lost most of this thread, depending on how you answer.
All of those things count as not being able to live without, for my purposes. Even vitamin supplements. Medication is right out, as is cathing or anything like that.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:57 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Then I think you're down to:

Eyes
Ears
Nose
Tonsils/adenoids
Gall bladder
Appendix
Parts of the brain
Parts of the liver
1 lung
1 kidney
A portion, but not the end of, the large intestine
A portion of, but not all of, the small intestine
  #18  
Old 08-13-2013, 11:00 PM
njtt njtt is offline
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Teeth.

Thymus.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:06 PM
drewtwo99 drewtwo99 is offline
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So you cannot live without a spleen without taking medications or supplements?
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:07 PM
the_diego the_diego is offline
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Anyone heard of the story of the prison lifer who liked to donate an organ of his yearly? One retina, a kidney, skin for grafting, bone marrow, etc. The warden put a stop to it when he observed the lifer was slowly getting out.
  #21  
Old 08-13-2013, 11:20 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drewtwo99 View Post
So you cannot live without a spleen without taking medications or supplements?
You'll get more infections, probably, and need antibiotics fairly regularly. The spleen is a major immune organ.
  #22  
Old 08-13-2013, 11:20 PM
Washoe Washoe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
You can remove certain areas of your brain without sacrificing much.

(Many people wouldn't even miss it.)
Complete hemispherectomies are rare, but they have been successfully performed. Has anybody ever had even more than half of their brain removed, aside from Spock?
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:24 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_diego View Post
Anyone heard of the story of the prison lifer who liked to donate an organ of his yearly? One retina, a kidney, skin for grafting, bone marrow, etc. The warden put a stop to it when he observed the lifer was slowly getting out.
(groan)

I vote for tonsils, adenoids, spleen, thymus, reproductive organs, gallbladder, and there may be others. Anything else, and its absence will seriously impact one's quality of life.
  #24  
Old 08-14-2013, 09:01 AM
Quercus Quercus is offline
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If you count bones, muscle or skin as an organ, you can survive long-term losing quite a bit of muscle or bone (and a fair amount of skin), though obviously you'll need medical intervention in the short-term (and probably medium-term if you lose much skin).
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:04 AM
aNewLeaf aNewLeaf is offline
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I was surprised to learn that huge numbers of people are polysplenic- probably 10% or more of everybody has multiple spleens.
Nobody ever notices until one or more ruptures and a surgeon has to go in there and look around.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:08 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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I had some sweat glands removed! The apocrine ones in my armpits (you also have apocrine sweat glands in your nether regions - and so do I). According to Wikipedia they are not useful in humans, they are more useful in camels.
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Old 08-14-2013, 12:07 PM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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The desending colon can be removed with no sequelae, but removal of other parts of the colon require a colostomy. Removal of more than a few inches of the small intestine requires an ileostomy. These are both externalized stomas requiring a bad to collect intestinal contents.

Skin is an organ, bone and muscle are not. One's skin must remain intact. Third degree burns or major skin sloughing requires grafting and extended hospitalization.

Removing the stomach does have sequelae. Even gastric by-pass requires on-going care, including special diet, vitamin supps and electrolye replacement.

Bladder removal requires externalization of the ureters into a false bladder made of part of the intestine. It has to be emptied by hand.

I could go on if you like, but I have to run some errands.
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:50 PM
OldGuy OldGuy is offline
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I don't think anyone's mentioned the prostate (though I guess that's part of the reproductive system). My body is my cite.
  #29  
Old 08-14-2013, 03:46 PM
bup bup is offline
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What counts as an organ?

For some reason, a sex organ is an organ, but an arm or leg is not, in common speech. But an arm is a set of tissues working together for a purpose or purposes, so if arms are organs or legs are organs, you could live without those.
  #30  
Old 08-14-2013, 03:53 PM
gnoitall gnoitall is offline
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Originally Posted by picunurse View Post
The desending colon can be removed with no sequelae, but removal of other parts of the colon require a colostomy.
Rather broad statement; untrue at least by exception. My father had a significant chunk of (i.e., most of) tranverse colon removed and resected, and as far as I can tell he's as totally not full of shit as he ever was. And no bag on the side, as it were.
  #31  
Old 08-14-2013, 04:03 PM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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Originally Posted by gnoitall View Post
Rather broad statement; untrue at least by exception. My father had a significant chunk of (i.e., most of) tranverse colon removed and resected, and as far as I can tell he's as totally not full of shit as he ever was. And no bag on the side, as it were.
Sorry, I should have said most of the time...

Organ.
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:35 PM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_diego View Post
Anyone heard of the story of the prison lifer who liked to donate an organ of his yearly? One retina, a kidney, skin for grafting, bone marrow, etc. The warden put a stop to it when he observed the lifer was slowly getting out.
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