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Discharge Instructions for Laparoscopic Splenectomy (Pediatric)

Your child had a procedure called splenectomy, which is the surgical removal of the spleen. Located in the upper left portion of the abdomen, the spleen acted as a filter for blood and helped your child’s body fight infection. Your doctor made three or four small incisions in your child’s abdomen and then inserted tubelike instruments through these incisions. This approach allows your child to recover from surgery more quickly and with less discomfort. Here's what you need to know about home care.

Incision Care

  • Check your child’s incisions daily for redness, swelling, or separation of the skin.

  • Follow the surgeon's instructions on when you child can take a bath or shower.

  • Make sure you or your child washes the incision sites gently with mild soap and warm water and pats them dry.


  • Ask the surgeon when it will be safe for your child to lift things and/or get back to normal activities.

  • Remember, your child will be a little unsteady on his or her feet for a few days after getting home from the hospital.

  • Don’t allow your child to lift anything heavier than 3 pounds(no more than 1 or 2 text books at a time) to avoid straining the incisions.

  • Give your child a break from chores. Your child shouldn’t push a vacuum or mow the lawn until the doctor says it’s okay to do so.

  • Give your child pain relievers as directed. Avoid aspirin and ibuprofen.

Taking Precautions About Infections

  • Check your child’s temperature every day for 1 week after the surgery.

  • Make sure your child takes all the antibiotics prescribed after surgery—even if he or she feels better. Your child needs the antibiotics to keep from getting an infection.

  • Get medical attention for your child even for mild illnesses such as sinus problems or colds. Remember, your child is more prone to infection without a spleen.

  • Talk to your doctor about vaccines. Specifically, ask about:

    • Pneumovax

    • Meningococcal vaccine

    • Haemophilus vaccine

    • Flu vaccine

  • Be sure to tell all your healthcare providers that your child does not have a spleen.

  • Consider getting a medical identification bracelet for your child that says he or she does not have a spleen.


Make a follow-up appointment as directed by our staff.


When to Call Your Child's Doctor

Call the doctor right away if your child has any of the following:

  • Fever greater than 101°F (38.3°C)

    • In an infant under 3 months old, a rectal temperature of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher

    • In a child 3 to 36 months, a rectal temperature of 102°F (39.0°C) or higher

    • A fever that lasts more than 24-hours in a child under 2 years old, or for 3 days in a child 2 years or older

    • A seizure caused by the fever

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

  • Any unusual bleeding

  • Pain in or around the incision site

  • Warmth or redness at or around the incision site

  • Incision site that opens up or pulls apart





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