Are there any special diets that should be followed after removal of a ruptured spleen? What about alcohol consumption?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, there are no special dietary requirements following surgical removal of a spleen (splenectomy).
As to alcohol, check with your doctor. Typically, no restrictions are issued after a splenectomy. But in my opinion, the common sense approach here would be the conservative one — drinking lightly or moderately.
My reasoning has to do with the fact that the spleen functions as part of your body’s immune system. It is a component of the lymphatic system and helps to keep your blood supply healthy. As you are no doubt aware by now, people who have had their spleen removed are at increased risk of bacterial infection.
The risk of infection is much higher among children than adults. The risk also appears to decline with time. Some doctors believe that other organs eventually take over the role of spleen completely. But for a few years at the least, and until late adolescence for children, taking precautions against bacterial infections would be wise.
The pneumococcus bacteria, which can cause pneumonia and other illnesses, is of particular concern. Pneumonia vaccines are recommended for people who have had a splenectomy. Flu shots are probably a good idea, too. Although the flu is a viral infection, it increases the risk of catching a secondary bacterial infection.
Now, here is where the common sense comes back in the picture. Given the greater susceptibility to infection, people without spleens should try to keep their immune systems as healthy and strong as possible. Exercising, eating a healthy diet, reducing stress and getting plenty of rest will all help the immune system. Drinking in excess of the moderate range is likely to tax the immune system, rather than enhance it.