Liver Cysts: Symptoms, Treatment

Overview

Liver cysts, also known as hepatic cysts, are abnormal fluid-filled sacs in the liver. They are common and can be detected by a CT scan or ultrasound. Usually, one or two liver cysts don’t need treatment, but if there are mutiple, large cysts, you may need treatment.

There are four types of liver cyst: simple cyst, polycystic liver (an inherited disease), cysts caused by parasites (such as hydatid disease), and cysts occurring in conjunction with liver cancer.

About 5% of people have liver cysts in America.

Causes

The cause of most liver cysts is unknown currently. Some factors may be related to liver cysts:

  • Echinococcus found in sheep
  • Age
  • Poor diet
  • Lifestyle

The liver cysts can be present at birth or develop at a later time. According to the studies, simple liver cysts may be the result of a malformation present at birth.

Symptoms

Most liver cysts have no symptoms. Only about 5% of people have symptoms, such as:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • Pain in the upper right section of the stomach
  • Feel the cyst from the outside of the stomach
  • Sharp and sudden pain in the upper section of your stomach (if the cyst begins to bleed)

Diagnosis

Most liver cysts have no symptoms so they only can be found during a physical exam. If you have the above-described symtpoms, you’d better go to the doctor. The doctor may check your abdominal symptoms and order some tests, such as:

  • CT scans or abdominal CT scan
  • Ultrasound
  • A blood test (to rule out the cause of a parasite)

Treatment

Treatment for liver cysts depends on the size, symptoms of the liver cysts and whether there is a parasite in the cysts or not.

For small cysts: they don’t need treatment. Patients only need regular inspections.

For large cysts which cause pain or bleeding:

  • Laparoscope: this procedure inserts a needle into the abdomen and drains fluid from the cyst
  • Surgery to remove the cysts

For cysts found a parasite: the patient can use antibodies to treat the infection.

Home Remedies

There is no way to prevent liver cysts currently, while some tips may be helpful to reduce the risk of liver cysts:

  • Avoid dairy products
  • Avoid alcohol and excessive sugar
  • Take a selenium supplement
  • Drink raw vegetable juices regularly, including kale, broccoli, radishes and onion
  • Eat a healthy diet and have regular exercise

Please consult your doctor about your treatment.


Keywords: liver cysts; hepatic cysts; liver disease.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.