He is one of the best gastroenterology doctors I have ever visited. Took my uncle for stomach pain, the doctor did endoscopy & colonoscopy, diagnosed the problem as large intestine cancer, the doctor asked a...
The doctor is extremely professional and polite. He explains the problem patiently and does not prescribe unnecessary medication. He gives priority to the patient's well-being over everything. I Will definitely recommend him
I have referred/recommended a couple of my relatives and friends to this Dr (Dr. Srujan Kumar Dasyam). I say that the diagnosis and treatment are good and also Dr listens patiently in understanding the patient's...
Apoorva Reddy Panyala
Table Of Contents
- What are Liver Cysts?
- What Causes Liver Cysts?
- What are the Symptoms of Liver Cysts?
- How are Liver Cysts Diagnosed?
- What are the Complications of Liver Cysts?
- How are Liver Cysts Treated?
What are Liver Cysts?
Fluid-filled sacs that originate in the liver are termed liver cysts. They are benign growths in the liver that seldom disrupt liver functions. The size and number of cysts vary from person to person. They can be as small as a pinhead and as large as 4 inches. They can be single as well as multiple, where the latter condition is termed Polycystic Liver Disease.
What Causes Liver Cysts?
The actual aetiology of this deformity is uncertain. There are certain factors, though:
- Bile duct abnormality: Liver cysts are generally caused by bile duct abnormalities. The liver produces bile, which helps with digestion and moves through ducts from the liver to the gallbladder.
- Parasitic infection: There’s also a relationship between liver cysts and an echinococcus parasite found in areas where cattle live. It can get transmitted through contaminated food and cause cysts in multiple organs, including the liver.
- Heredity: Heredity is also an essential factor when considering PLD.
Some people are born with liver cysts (congenital), whereas others acquire cysts much later in life. Cysts may be unnoticed until symptoms appear later in life, even if they are present at birth.
What are the Symptoms of Liver Cysts?
Only approximately 5% of patients who develop a liver cyst present symptoms.
Tiny liver cysts seldom produce symptoms, and they might lie unnoticed for years. Most people don’t feel pain or discomfort until the cyst grows larger. Symptoms of an expanding cyst include abdominal bloating and discomfort in the upper right portion of the stomach. You may be able to feel the cyst from the outside of your stomach if you have severe enlargement.
If the cyst starts to bleed, there is sharp and abrupt pain in the upper portion of your stomach. Without medical intervention, bleeding can sometimes cease on its own. If this is the case, pain and other symptoms may improve within a few days.
How are Liver Cysts Diagnosed?
The diagnosis involves:
- Physical examination involves pressing the abdomen to check for any enlargement in the liver.
- Medical history to check if the patient had any liver conditions in the past.
- Imaging tests: Ultrasound, CT, and MRI are done to better understand the abdomen.
- Serodiagnostic tests to identify specific enzymes and antibodies.
What are the Complications of Liver Cysts?
Though liver cysts seldom cause any complications but they can cause,
- Cancer: Liver cysts are mostly benign. Although the probability of turning into malignant cell mass is less, a tiny proportion can still turn cancerous.
- Liver enlargement: In people with PLD, the liver gets bigger with time, resulting in enlarged or distended tummies and pain. It is treated with medication and surgery by healthcare specialists.
How are Liver Cysts Treated?
There is no need to treat small cysts unless they cause any problem. If the cysts become large and cause pain and bleeding, it becomes essential to treat the condition.
One option is by inserting a needle into the abdomen and medically emptying fluid from the cyst. This operation may just be a temporary solution, and the cyst may refill with fluid in the future. Another alternative is to remove the whole cyst to prevent recurrence physically.
PLD can be severe in some cases. Cysts may bleed profusely, produce excruciating pain, return after therapy, or begin to compromise liver function in this situation. In such cases, a liver transplant is indicated.