If you had splenectomy due to a ruptured spleen, further treatment usually isn't necessary. If it was done to treat another disorder, additional treatment may be required.

Life without a spleen

After splenectomy other organs in your body take over most of the functions previously performed by your spleen. You can be active without a spleen, but you're at increased risk of becoming sick or getting serious infections. This risk is highest shortly after surgery. People with a spleen may also have a harder time recovering from an illness or injury.

To reduce your risk of infection, your doctor may recommend vaccines against pneumonia, influenza, Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) and meningococci. In some cases, he or she may also recommend preventive antibiotics, especially for children under 5 and those with other conditions that increase their risk of serious infections.

After splenectomy, notify your doctor at the first sign of an infection, such as:

  • A fever of 100.4 F (38 C) or higher
  • Redness or tender spots anywhere on the body
  • A sore throat
  • Chills that cause you to shake or shiver
  • A cold that lasts longer than usual

Make sure anyone caring for you knows that you've had your spleen removed. Consider wearing a medical alert bracelet that indicates you don't have a spleen.

July 10, 2015