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Ruptured Spleen

What to Expect After a Ruptured Spleen

Recovery depends on the severity of the rupture. In general, the outcome is excellent for those with more mild spleen ruptures (grade I and II injuries). The more severe the spleen injury, the more guarded the outcome. The risk of complications appears to be greatest in people over age 55.

Deaths caused by splenic rupture are possible and do still occur, even at the top trauma centers.

You can live without a spleen. However, since the spleen plays a crucial role in the body's ability to fight certain bacteria, living without the organ puts you at high risk for life-threatening infections. Everyone should receive the vaccine for pneumococcus, and some should get vaccines for meningococcus and haemophilus influenzae type b. These vaccines usually are given 14 days prior to an elective splenectomy or 14 days after the surgery.

Children who have their spleen removed may need to take antibiotics every day to prevent them from getting sick. Adults usually do not need daily antibiotics unless they become sick or there is a chance they could become sick. Regardless of age, if you have had your spleen removed it's a good idea to wear a medical alert bracelet.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on May 23, 2014

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