A splenectomy is surgery to remove the spleen. It can take 4 to 6 weeks to heal. Home care and medicine will help.
To care for the incision:
Carry a medical ID card or wear an alert bracelet. Let all your doctors know that you have had your spleen removed.
You will have some limits as you heal:
You may have stopped taking medicine before surgery. You can take them again when your care team has said it is okay.
Medicine may be needed to ease pain. Antibiotics may be given to treat infection.
Take all the antibiotics you are given. Do this even when you are feeling well.
When taking medicine:
Your risk of infection is higher without a spleen. Vaccines will be needed to lower the risk of things like pneumonia and flu.
Your doctor will need to check on your progress. Be sure to go to all appointments.
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Patient education: wound care. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at:https://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Updated June 15, 2018. Accessed February 4, 2020.
Patient information for laparoscopic spleen removal (splenectomy) from SAGES. Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.sages.org/publications/patient-information/patient-information-for-laparoscopic-spleen-removal-splenectomy-from-sages. Updated March 1, 2015. Accessed February 4, 2020.
Splenectomy. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/splenectomy-spleen-removal. Updated July 11, 2016. Accessed February 4, 2020.
Last reviewed November 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD Last Updated: 2/9/2021