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Everything You Need to Know About Kidney Cyst Removal

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Everything You Need to Know About Kidney Cyst Removal

Renal Sciences | Posted on 12/29/2022 by Dr. Devendra K. Sharma



Overview

Do you feel the urge to urinate frequently? If yes, then it could be a sign of a kidney cyst. A kidney cyst is a sac filled with fluid that grows in your kidneys. Usually, people who have kidney cysts aren’t aware that they have them. The kidneys are vital organs in our body as they filter out the waste from the blood before passing it out in the form of urine. They are also crucial for blood pressure regulation and managing various other bodily functions.

Generally, people experience a single cyst on one kidney or more than one cyst on both kidneys. There are two types of cysts, polycystic kidney disease and simple cysts. Simple cysts are individual ones formed on the kidneys. These cysts have thin walls and include water-like fluid. This type of cyst doesn’t harm the kidneys and doesn’t affect their functionalities as well.

On the other hand, polycystic kidney disease is a condition that is inherited and causes more than one kidney cyst. If these cysts keep growing, then it causes damage to the kidneys. However, cysts are in general harmless as they don’t involve symptoms in some individuals and you might not even know that you have them.

In this write-up, you will gain information on everything related to kidney cysts and their removal, so make sure to give it a read.

Are there any kidney cysts symptoms?

Yes, kidney cysts also have symptoms like any other health condition but some people might not notice them or may not have any symptoms. Kidney cysts’ symptoms are usually noticeable when they grow large and become infected. Here are the symptoms:

  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Urge to urinate more than usual
  • Blood in urine
  • Dark urine
  • Fever
  • Back pain or pain between your ribs and pelvis

The symptoms of polycystic kidney disease are back and side pain, high blood pressure, and blood in the urine.

What causes kidney cysts?

What causes kidney cysts are not yet fully understood. As per a study, it is found that men are more likely to experience the problem than females. And people aged 50 or above also have one or more simple cysts in their kidneys. The cyst's size also increases with age and keeps multiplying over the years. Polycystic kidney diseases can be attributed to genetic mutations. 

Are there any complications of kidney cysts?

Most kidney cysts don’t pose complications or issues; however, there may be complications in rare cases. The complications of kidney cysts usually are ruptured cysts, infected cysts, and swollen kidneys caused by urine obstruction.

If you observe complications or notice that symptoms are intensifying, you must seek medical attention immediately. Most complications are easily manageable, including ruptured cysts as well but it is crucial to get prompt treatment.  

How are kidney cysts diagnosed?

The important part of kidney cysts diagnosis is consulting your doctor and providing information on the symptoms that you are experiencing. Your doctor, depending on the symptoms, might order various tests such as:

  • An ultrasound - It helps in getting images of organs through high-frequency sound waves and echoes.
  • CT or computed tomography scans - X-rays and computers produce cross-section images of the body. The scans may also need an iodinated contrast injection to distinguish cysts that are filled with fluid from solid masses.
  • Magnetic resource imaging or MRI - This is also recommended as through magnets, computers, and radio waves, doctors can have a look at the body images. Your doctor would be able to identify the difference between fluid-filled cysts and solid masses. MRI is usually recommended for patients with iodine allergies.
  • Blood tests are also recommended for measuring how well your kidneys are functioning.

How to remove cysts from the kidney?

If kidney cysts are causing your symptoms, then your healthcare expert recommends a kidney cyst removal procedure followed by treatment options. Here is how cysts are removed from the kidney:

  • The first step for kidney removal surgery is piercing and draining the cyst, filling it with a solution. The solution leads to scarring and assists in preventing the cyst from filling with fluid again. The doctor might use alcohol or chemical compounds as a solution. Additionally, your doctor will insert a thin needle through your skin and the wall of the kidney cyst to shrink the cyst.
  • Another option for a kidney cyst removal procedure is surgery. If a kidney cyst is large and causing symptoms, then your doctor might recommend surgery. They will make a few incisions in your skin and use special tools with a video camera to access the cysts. The surgeon directs the tools to the kidney by watching a video monitor in the operating room and using the tools to drain out the fluid from the cysts. Further, the doctor will burn or cut away the cyst walls.

Kidney cyst removal surgery is rarely performed and is mainly used for complex cysts with variations that can be cancerous.

Can kidney cysts be prevented?

You cannot do anything to prevent kidney cysts. However, you can take some steps like drinking plenty of water and making sure to consume less than 2300 mg sodium a day. It is important for those having conditions like high blood pressure or long-term kidney disease.

Conclusion

If you observe kidney cyst symptoms, it’s crucial to have this evaluated by a specialist. Most kidney cysts aren’t dangerous and don’t pose serious problems. If a cyst develops, it can be removed with surgery without any long-term complications. However, you have to be cautious if you have polycystic kidney disease (PKD). It is a serious situation and can lead to high blood pressure and even kidney failure. So, make sure not to overlook PKD symptoms and consult your doctor as soon as possible.

FAQs

When should you consult your doctor about kidney cysts?

You must consult a doctor if you notice signs like pain on the sides between the ribs, hips, stomach, or back, fever, frequent urination, and blood in the urine. These symptoms indicate that cysts are ruptured or infected.

Are kidney cysts dangerous?

Kidney cysts are usually not dangerous but only if an individual has simple kidney cysts. There is very less probability that simple kidney cysts will turn into something serious, however polycystic kidney disease can be dangerous. Hence, if you have PKD, then you may require immediate treatment.