spleen's job is to remove old and damaged red blood
cells. When red blood cells that are weakened due to
thalassemia pass through the spleen, they are often
destroyed. This can leave the body with too few red blood cells.
Removing the spleen during surgery (splenectomy) can help lower the
number of red blood cells that are lost. Also, doctors sometimes remove a
spleen that has gotten bigger because of thalassemia and is causing you pain.
Splenectomy usually is not done on children
younger than age 11.
You may need to take regular doses of
antibiotics to prevent infections after your spleen is
removed. Without your spleen, you are more prone to infections.
prevent infection later, ask your doctor about getting a shot of pneumococcal
vaccine (Pneumovax) before you have your spleen taken out.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.