Charles Castillo, M.D., F.A.C.S. Board Certified General Surgeon

602-340-0201 | Request Appointment

  • #Named One of Phoenix Magazine's Top Doctors for 19 Years
  • #Providing Minimally Invasive Solutions To Common Surgical Problems.
  • #Board Certified General Surgeon. Fellow Of The American College Of Surgeons.
  • #Conveniently Located In The Historic District Of Phoenix.
  • #For questions or scheduling an appointment please give us a call, we are here to help.
  • #Named One of Phoenix Magazine's Top Doctors for 19 Years

Spleen Conditions

The spleen filters blood and helps the body fight infections. Surgical removal (a splenectomy) can be necessary for treatment of disorders or diseases of the spleen. These conditions include:

  • Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP)
  • Hypersplenism
  • Lymphoma, Hodgkin Disease, Leukemia
  • Tumors or cysts

Most patients can have their spleen removed with a laparoscopic procedure. The advantages for the patient of this minimally invasive approach are less postoperative pain, a shorter hospital stay, and less scarring. When the spleen is extremely enlarged, it may be necessary to make a larger incision in order to remove it. Dr. Castillo performs both types of surgery and carefully evaluates each patient's situation to determine the best and safest way to do the surgery.

Symptoms of a spleen condition requiring surgery can be:

  • Abdominal pain in the upper left abdomen
  • Pain in the left shoulder and left side of the back
  • Feelings of fullness in abdomen
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent infections
  • Bleeding disorder


Tests for spleen conditions may include:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC): Checks the number of blood cells and platelets in your system
  • Bone Marrow Test
  • Ultrasound test
  • CT scan: helps identify an enlarged spleen
  • MRI: traces blood flow through the spleen
  • Nuclear Medicine Scan: A radioactive tracer injected into a vein can help find cysts and abscesses.


When performing a laparoscopic splenectomy, Dr. Castillo operates through three or four small incisions in the abdomen with a specialized surgical camera and tools to remove the spleen. Because the incisions are smaller than in open surgery, most patients recover more quickly and have a shorter hospital stay.