Normally a splenectomy is a safe procedure, but all surgery carries risks, including:
Long-Term Risk of Infection
- Excessive bleeding
- Blood clots
- Injury to nearby organs, such as stomach, pancreas, and the intestines
A person without a spleen is at risk of severe or life-threatening infection. The doctor will recommend that person be vaccinated for pneumonia and the flu every year. In some cases prophylactic antibiotics may be prescribed, especially if the patient has other medical conditions making them susceptible to infection.
Life Without a Spleen
After the spleen is removed, other organs will take over the function of the spleen and most people without spleens can live normal lives. However, without the spleen the patient is more susceptible to serious infection when compared with a person with a spleen so the doctor may recommend the patient be vaccinated for pneumonia and the flu to prevent life-threatening illness. In some cases prophylactic antibiotics may be prescribed, especially if the patient has other medical conditions making them susceptible to infection. Always let medical personnel know if you do not have a spleen and wear a medical identification bracelet so others are aware of this.