Key Points for This Section
The risk of health problems that affect the immune system increases after treatment with the following:
- Surgery to remove the spleen.
- High-dose radiation therapy to the spleen.
- Stem cell transplant and graft-versus-host disease during or after treatment.
Late effects that affect the immune system may increase the risk of very serious bacterial infections. This risk is higher in younger children than in older children and may be greater in the early years after the spleen stops working or is removed by surgery. These signs and symptoms may be caused by infection:
- Redness, swelling, or warmth of a part of the body.
- Pain that is in one part of the body, such as the eye, ear, or throat.
Taking daily antibiotics may be recommended for children younger than 5 years of age whose spleen is no longer working or for at least 1 year after surgery to remove the spleen. For certain high-risk patients, daily antibiotics may be prescribed throughout childhood and into adulthood.
- Pneumococcal disease.
- Meningococcal disease.
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) disease.
Talk to your child's doctor about whether other childhood vaccinations need to be repeated.