Splenectomy is generally a safe procedure. But as with any surgery, splenectomy carries the potential risk of complications.
Potential complications include:
- Blood clots
- Injury to other organs nearby, including your stomach, pancreas and colon
Long-term risk of infection
After spleen removal, you're more likely to contract serious or even life-threatening infections. Following splenectomy, your doctor may recommend you receive a pneumonia vaccine and yearly flu vaccines. In some cases, preventive antibiotics may be recommended as well, especially if you have other conditions that increase your risk of serious infections.
July 20, 2012
- Splenomegaly. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hematology_and_oncology/spleen_disorders/splenomegaly.html. Accessed May 15, 2012.
- Landaw SA, et al. Approach to the adult patient with splenomegaly and other splenic disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed May 15, 2012.
- Hoffman R, et al. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06715-0..X5001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06715-0&uniqId=230100505-56. Accessed May 15, 2012.
- Maurus CF. Laparoscopic versus open splenectomy for nontraumatic diseases. World Journal of Surgery. 2008;32:2444.
- Townsend CM Jr, et al. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1565/0.html. Accessed May 15, 2012.
- Patient information for laparoscopic spleen removal (splenectomy) from SAGES. Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. http://www.sages.org/publications/publication.php?id=PI12. Accessed May 15, 2012.
- Cadili A, et al. Complications of splenectomy. The American Journal of Medicine. 2008;121:371.
- Mesa RA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 4, 2012.