After Laparoscopic Splenectomy
After Laparoscopic Splenectomy
You have had surgery to remove your
spleen (splenectomy). The spleen was in the upper left part of your abdomen. Your spleen
stored red blood cells, filtered your blood, and helped your body fight infection. To take
it out, your healthcare provider made 3 or 4 small incisions in your abdomen. Surgical
tools were then inserted through these incisions. This sheet will help you take care of
yourself at home.
Ask for help with chores and
errands while you get better.
Don’t lift anything heavier than 10 pounds.
Don’t do strenuous activity. Build up your activity as you heal.
Check your incisions daily
for signs of infection. Look for redness, swelling, and fluid leaking from the
incision. Infection may also cause the edges of an incision to open up.
Shower or take baths
carefully. Keep the incision dry.
Wash your incision gently. Use mild soap and warm water. Pat dry.
Other home care
Take pain medicine as
Check your temperature each
day for 7 days after the surgery. Call your healthcare provider if your
temperature is higher than 100.4°F (38°C).
Eat normal meals as soon as
you feel able. Stick to a healthy diet.
- If you are constipated from pain medicine, take a fiber
supplement and stool softener. Talk with your healthcare provider about any symptoms
that don't go away.
Preventing and treating infections
You have a higher risk of infection
now because you don’t have a spleen. You are especially at high risk for infections from
some bacteria, such as certain types of pneumonia and meningitis. There are ways to
manage this risk. These include:
Take antibiotic medicine as directed by your healthcare provider. This helps stop infection. Take all of this medicine until it is gone.
Talk to your healthcare
provider about what vaccines you should have. Most people who have elective
splenectomy get vaccines against encapsulated bacteria before surgery. These
vaccines need to be updated every 5 to 10 years.
See your healthcare provider even for mild illnesses. These include colds or sinus problems. Your healthcare provider may want to give you antibiotics and watch your health.
Tell all of your healthcare
providers that you have had your spleen taken out. This includes your dentist,
primary healthcare provider, and nurse practitioner.
Wear a medical alert ID bracelet that says you don’t have a spleen.
When to call your healthcare provider
Call your healthcare provider right
away if you have:
Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or
higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Any unusual bleeding
Nausea or vomiting that doesn’t get better
Pain, warmth, or redness in
the skin around the incisions that gets worse
Incisions that open up or pull apart
Online Medical Reviewer: Jen Lehrer MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Ronald Karlin MD
Online Medical Reviewer: L Renee Watson MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed:
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