Consequences of Splenectomy

The spleen is a vital organ and is used by the immune system for several critical functions and for this reason a splenectomy has serious and long-term consequences. Most importantly, the treatment of all future infections becomes more complicated after splenectomy, because a key component of the body’s normal defense system is not longer present.

 


Consequences of Splenectomy can lead to

Infections  

Septicemia

Certain bacteria, including pneumococcus and hemophilus, that are usually confined to local infections may become blood-borne (septic) and widespread in splenectomized persons. To avoid this potentially fatal situation, they are usually instructed to seek medical attention promptly for all fevers or obvious infections.



Key

Strong or generally accepted link

Glossary

Immune System

A complex that protects the body from disease organisms and other foreign bodies. The system includes the humoral immune response and the cell-mediated response. The immune system also protects the body from invasion by making local barriers and inflammation.

Bacteria

Microscopic germs. Some bacteria are "harmful" and can cause disease, while other "friendly" bacteria protect the body from harmful invading organisms.

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