What are the possible complications of splenectomy?
Possible complications include the usual risks of all surgeries, including infection. There is also a risk of pneumonia or pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Immediately after the surgery, the patient is likely to be put on medications to prevent infection.
After having a splenectomy, the patient must always be extra careful about infections. The doctor is likely to have immunized the patient before surgery. Other likely recommendations include:
- Have a pneumonia vaccine about every five years.
- Have yearly flu shots.
- A child who has had his or her spleen removed may be put on antibiotics for two to several years after the surgery, possibly until adulthood.
- Contact your doctor immediately if you have a fever or other indications of infection.
- Avoid travel to places where you could contract malaria.