After you have had a splenectomy there are a few precautions you need to take to reduce the risk of rare complications of being without a spleen (Asplenic). Most patients having a planned splenectomy will have been vaccinated prior to surgery. If you have not been vaccinated preoperatively you will be vaccinated on about day 14 after surgery. (13vPCV initially with a second dose [23vPPV] at 8 weeks, Menacer and Bexsero with second dose 8 weeks later, Hib 1 dose). See this website for details.
- Get your specialist or GP to check your platelet count to make certain it has fallen to a level that is acceptable.
- Don’t forget your annual Influenza (flu) vaccinations.
- Maintain your immunity against capsulated bacterial infections by having five yearly repeat vaccination with HIB, Pneumococcal vaccine and Meningococcal vaccine.
- DO NOT VISIT malaria endemic areas.
- Consider purchasing a bracelet which is engraved: “ I have a had splenectomy, THINK penicillin”
- Be mindful of the need to see a GP (or failing that an emergency department) promptly if you get a a flu-like infection that seems unusually severe – you must do that on the day that you becomes aware of symptoms. It is probably wise to have some Augmentin available to take when you get an influenza type illness.
- Enroll with Spleen Australia on email@example.com to register for education kit and information updates (03 90763828). www.spleen.org.au