What are the possible complications of splenectomy?

Possible complications include the usual risks of all surgeries, including bleeding, infection, and injury to the surrounding abdominal organs.

What are the long-term risks of a splenectomy?

One particular risk associated with splenectomy is overwhelming post-splenectomy infection. Fortunately there are vaccines available to protect against the main types of bacteria. Preoperatively, and then again two months later, your physician will order three shots to optimize your immune system. Booster shots are then given five years later. You should also get your yearly flu shot. Splenectomy patients can get sick and be around sick people. However, if you develop an illness, as noted by a high fever, you should contact your provider immediately and antibiotics will be prescribed.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 09/23/2020.


  • Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. Spleen Removal (Splenectomy). Accessed 9/21/2020.
  • Qureshi FG, Ergun O, Sandulache VC, et al. Laparoscopic Splenectomy in Children. JSLS : Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons. 2005;9(4):389-392. Accessed 9/21/2020.
  • Genetics Home Reference. Hereditary spherocytosis. Accessed 9/21/2020.
  • Yi S. Stat Pearls. Splenectomy. Accessed 9/21/2020.

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