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Liver Cysts

Liver cyst is one complication of renal cyst. Most often, liver cysts usually don’t produce symptoms, if they are benign and small. > Liver Cysts

Liver Cysts

What is liver cyst?

Also known as a hepatic cyst, a simple liver cyst is a thin-walled bubble, a fluid-filled cavity in the liver that usually produces no signs or symptoms. Some liver cysts do not contain fluid. These cysts can be as small as 2 mm and as large as 20 cm. however, they are usually found to be not larger than 2 cm. Liver cysts are usually benign, and do not affect liver functions. They are also not found to cause any major discomfort to the affected individuals. In some cases, however, liver cysts may grow large enough to cause pain or discomfort in the upper right part of the abdomen, liver enlargement, bile duct infection, or obstruction of the bile ducts, causing the cyst itself to become infected. In these cases, it is necessary to drain or remove the cyst. Back To Top

What causes liver cysts?

Some liver cysts are congenital, present at the birth, while a great majority are idiopathic or caused by unknown reasons. However, certain liver cysts can develop due to some diseases.

● Congenital (at birth) hepatic fibrosis – a rare hereditary disorder characterized by scar tissue with irregularly shaped bile ducts, and associated with an impairment of renal functions.

● Choledochal cysts – congenital (at birth) abnormalities of the bile ducts.

● Polycystic liver disease is a congenital disease, associated with the development of liver cysts. As the name suggests, polycystic liver disease is characterized by the development of a large number of cysts on the liver, sometimes, in the kidneys as well. It can result in kidney failure.

● Echinococcus granulosus is an infectious disease, caused by the parasite. In this disease, the larvae of the granulosus enclose themselves in cysts, which are called hydatid cysts.

● In cystadenoma, individuals can develop cysts in any part of the body including the liver and kidneys. It is found to be more prevalent in middle-aged women.

● Caroli's disease – associated with recurrent bacterial inflammation of the bile duct, stone formation, and dilatation of the intrahepatic bile ducts.

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What are the symptoms of liver cysts?

Liver cysts usually do not produce symptoms, as they are generally benign and very small. Large cysts as well as cysts enlargement can cause some discomforts in the abdominal regions. Some important symptoms of liver cysts include:

● Liver enlargement

● Swelling and discomfort of the upper abdomen

● Abdominal pain, especially in the upper right part of the abdomen

● A feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen

● Some common digestive problems like nausea and diarrhea

● A sharp pain in the shoulder and right side of upper quadrant

● Infection and obstruction of the bile ducts

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What are the treatments for liver cysts?

For benign and small cysts that do not cause any discomfort, and also do not grow or get infected, no treatment is required. However, it they cause discomforts, then medical intervention can become necessary. In general, the cysts are removed surgically to ease the pain and discomfort caused by them. If they get infected, then antibiotics can also be required.

Besides the surgical, the application of Chinese herbal medicines is another treatment for liver cysts. The active substances of Chinese herbal medicines can increase the permeability of cyst wall, and change the inner and outer pressure difference of cyst wall, so the fluid can be reabsorbed and finally removed out of body with urine. Also the Chinese herbal medicines can provide the nutrition liver needs to repair the liver damage. The whole process is safe and will not cause harms to liver and other organs. In China, Chinese herbal medicines have already been using to treat liver cysts and polycystic kidney disease in clinical. We hope patients with liver cysts or PKD could learn more about Chinese herbal medicines, and we are glad to offer you free help.

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