Liver Cysts

Liver cysts (also known as hepatic cysts) are fluid-filled sacs that occur within the liver. Most liver cysts are benign, an early diagnosis is vital for correct treatment of the parasitic or cancerous subtypes. In most cases, treatment include removal of cyst by minimal invasive surgery.

Causes

The reason behind most liver cysts is unknown. Liver cysts may be present at birth or can develop at a later time. They typically grow slowly and aren’t detected till adulthood.

Some cysts are caused by a parasite, tapeworm that’s found in sheep in different parts of the world.

Symptoms

Most liver cysts don’t cause any symptoms. However, if cysts become bigger, they will cause bloating and pain in right side of your upper abdomen. Sometimes, liver cysts become big enough that you will feel them through your abdomen.

Treatments

Most cysts don’t need treatment and get away on their own. Symptomatic cysts that become enlarged or malignant are removed surgically. Fluid drainage can be performed, however the result is only temporary. In some PLD patients, liver transplantation is needed.

Surgery. Complete removal of liver cysts is the best method of treatment, particularly with cases of cystadenoma and cystadenocarcinoma. This can be done using laparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgery where instruments are delivered to the surgery site through thin tubes inserted into the abdomen.

Drug therapy. Parasitic cysts caused by echinococcosis are typically treated with a combination of surgery and up to two years of chemotherapy to reduce symptoms. A course of medicine to treat parasitic worms may be prescribed.