WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Open splenectomy is surgery to take out all or part of your spleen.
AFTER YOU LEAVE:
- Medicines can help decrease pain. Ask your primary healthcare provider (PHP) how to take this medicine safely. You may also need medicine to prevent or treat an infection. Bowel movement softeners make it easier for you to have a bowel movement. You may need this medicine to prevent constipation.
- Vaccines or booster shots may be needed. These may include vaccines against the flu and bacterial meningitis (brain infection). Ask your PHP which vaccines you will need.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your PHP if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your surgeon or specialist as directed:
Ask when you need to return to have your wound checked. You will also need to have stitches or drains removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Bathing with stitches:
Follow instructions on when you can bathe. Gently wash the part of your body that has the stitches. Do not rub on the stitches to dry your skin. Pat the area gently with a towel. When the area is dry, put on a clean, new bandage as directed.
Stay away from large crowds the first week or two after surgery. This helps you to keep from getting an infection.
Medical alert jewelry:
Wear medical alert jewelry or carry a card that says you have had your spleen removed. Ask your PHP where to get these items. Spleen removal is important information for caregivers if you are ever in an accident or become unconscious.
Contact your surgeon or specialist if:
- You have chills, a cough, a sore throat, or feel weak and achy.
- Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
- You cough up blood.
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You have a fever.
- You get severe abdominal pain, or start to feel lightheaded or faint.
- You have trouble having a bowel movement or urinating.
- Blood soaks through your bandage.
- Your incision is swollen, red, or has pus coming from it.
- Your stitches come apart.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.