Post-splenectomy complications can occur after surgery to remove the spleen. Complications may include:
- Blood clots
- Destruction of red blood cells
- Increased risk for severe infections from bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae and Neisseria meningitidis
- Thrombocytosis (increased platelet count, which can cause blood clots)
Possible long-term medical problems include:
- Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
- Pulmonary hypertension (a disease affecting the blood vessels in your lungs)
Splenectomy - post-surgery syndrome; Overwhelming post-splenectomy infection; OPSI; Splenectomy - reactive thrombocytosis
Connell NT, Shurin SB, Schiffman F. The spleen and its disorders. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 160.
Croce MA, Fitzgerald M. The injured spleen. In: Cameron AM, Cameron JL, eds. Current Surgical Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:1194-1196.
Nassar AK, Hawn M. The spleen. In: Townsend CM Jr, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 21st ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022:chap 57.
Review Date 1/19/2021
Updated by: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.