Liver Cyst: Symptoms, Treatments and Causes

Liver cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form in the liver. They’re benign growths, implying they aren’t cancerous. These cysts usually don’t require treatment unless signs develop, and they seldom affect liver function.

Liver cysts are uncommon, only affecting about 5 percent of the population, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Some people have a single cyst — or an easy cyst — and experience no symptoms with the growth.

Others may develop a condition called polycystic liver disease (PLD), which is defined by lots of cystic developments on the liver. Although PLD triggers several cysts, the liver might continue to work effectively with this disease, and having this disease might not shorten life expectancy.

Symptoms of a Liver Cyst

Because a little liver cyst doesn’t usually trigger symptoms, it can go undiagnosed for years. It isn’t up until the cyst enlarges that some people experience discomfort and other discomfort. As the cyst ends up being larger, symptoms might include abdominal bloating or pain in the upper ideal section of the stomach. If you experience considerable augmentation, you might be able to feel the cyst from the beyond your stomach.

Sharp and unexpected pain in the upper section of your stomach can occur if the cyst starts to bleed. Often, bleeding stops on its own without medical treatment. If so, discomfort and other signs might enhance within a couple of days.

Amongst those who establish a liver cyst, just about 5 percent have symptoms.

Causes of a Liver Cyst

Liver cysts are the outcome of a malformation in the bile ducts, although the specific cause of this malformation is unidentified. Bile is a fluid made by the liver, which helps in digestion. This fluid travels from the liver to the gallbladder through ducts or tube-like structures.

Some people are born with liver cysts, whereas others don’t establish cysts up until they’re much older. Even when cysts are present at birth, they might go undiscovered till symptoms develop later in their adult years.

There’s also a link between liver cysts and a parasite called echinococcus. This parasite is found in areas where livestock and sheep live. You can become contaminated if you ingest contaminated food. The parasite can cause the advancement of cysts in various parts of the body, consisting of the liver.

In the case of PLD, this disease can be acquired when there’s a family history of the condition, or the disease might occur for no evident reason.

How to Diagnose a Liver Cyst

Because some liver cysts don’t cause visible signs, treatment isn’t constantly essential.

If you decide to see a doctor for abdominal pain or abdominal enlargement, your doctor might buy an imaging test to check for any abnormalities with your liver. You may likely go through an ultrasound or a CT scan of your abdomen. Both treatments create pictures of the within your body, which your doctor will use to confirm or rule out a cyst or a mass.

How to Treat a Liver Cyst

Your doctor may pick not to treat a little cyst, rather recommending a wait-and-see approach. If the cyst becomes larger and triggers pain or bleeding, your doctor may discuss treatment options at that time.

One treatment option includes placing a needle into your abdomen and surgically draining pipes fluid from the cyst. This treatment may just offer a short-term fix, and the cyst might refill with fluid in the future. To prevent a recurrence, another option is to surgically remove the whole cyst.

Your doctor can finish this surgery using a technique called laparoscopy. This minimally intrusive procedure just requires two or 3 small cuts, and your doctor performs the surgery using a little instrument called a laparoscope. Normally, you’ll just remain in the hospital for one night, and it only takes 2 weeks to make a complete recovery.

Once your doctor has diagnosed a liver cyst, they might order a blood test to rule out a parasite. If you have a parasite, you’ll get a course of antibiotics to treat the infection.

Some occurrences of PLD are severe. In this case, cysts may bleed greatly, trigger extreme pain, recur after treatment, or begin to affect liver function. In these scenarios, your doctor might advise a liver transplant.

There doesn’t appear to be any known method to prevent a liver cyst. In addition, there isn’t adequate research to determine whether diet or smoking contributes to liver cysts.


Even when liver cysts enlarge and trigger pain, the outlook is positive with treatment. Make certain you understand your treatment options, along with the pros and cons of each option before picking a treatment. Although getting a liver cyst diagnosis can be a cause for issue, these cysts usually don’t result in liver failure or liver cancer.

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