The liver, our body’s largest internal digestive organ, is the key to many fundamental physiological activities.
And it is also vulnerable to damage from different sources, including bacteria, metabolic byproducts, circulatory materials, poisons, and malformations.
One of the most worrying conditions is the presence of liver cysts. Liver cysts are the consequence of abnormalities in the intrahepatic bile ducts.
The mere mention of the word ‘cyst’ can create anxiety among people.
Liver cysts usually don’t evoke symptoms or require any sort of medical care. Some individuals may live with small liver cysts without ever noticing them or requiring treatment.
However, if those cysts become large, we may experience some sort of discomfort or other symptoms which calls for immediate medical attention.
You shouldn’t jump to conclusions because of any such symptoms. Large cysts can also be found in other medical disorders.
It’s important to have an accurate diagnosis rather than self-diagnosing, which typically involves basic diagnostic tests.
Understanding Liver Cysts
Liver cysts are fluid-filled sacs found in the liver that can exhibit varying sizes. They can be categorized into simple cysts and complex cysts.
Simple cysts are typically benign or noncancerous and have a thin wall, while complex cysts on the other hand may have solid components or internal septations.
Most liver cysts don’t show any symptoms and are discovered only during medical imaging tests.
Symptoms Of Liver Cysts
? Pain Or Discomfort In Abdomen: If liver cysts grow in size or there are multiple cysts present, individuals may feel pain or a sense of fullness in the upper right abdomen.
? Bloating or Swelling In Abdomen: The enlargement of liver cysts can lead to noticeable swelling or bloating in the abdomen.
? Nausea With Or Without Vomiting: The pressure exerted on the abdomen by liver cysts can cause symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
? Rupture And Infection: Though infrequent, there is also a possibility of developing infections or experiencing rupture, resulting in severe pain and other complications.
? Jaundice: In rare cases, jaundice, indicated by yellowing of the skin and eyes can result due to obstruction caused by liver cysts in the bile ducts.
Prevention Of Liver Cysts
Sometimes preventing liver cysts can be challenging since most cases are not under our control.
However, adopting certain measures can help you reduce the risk and helps with promoting liver health.
? A Healthy Lifestyle Is The Key: Engaging in regular physical exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, and limiting alcohol consumption can encourage overall liver health.
? Need For Regular Medical Check-Ups: Undergoing periodic medical check-ups will help in detecting any abnormalities in the liver, including the existence of cysts, at an early stage.
Diagnosis And Treatment Options
? Observation: Immediate treatment may not be necessary for small, asymptomatic liver cysts that do not cause complications.
Regularly monitoring the cyst through imaging tests like ultrasound or MRI can ensure that there are no significant changes occurred.
? Sclerotherapy: Sclerotherapy is a procedure of injecting a solution into the liver cyst to shrink it and prevent it from refilling.
This procedure is an effective treatment option and is often performed during imaging tests.
? Surgical Intervention: Surgical removal of the liver cyst may be necessary in some cases depending on the size and kind of cysts.
This can be done through open surgery or laparoscopic surgery (keyhole surgery), depending on the size and location of the cyst.
? Aspiration Or Drainage: A doctor may recommend draining the fluid from the cyst using a needle (aspiration) under ultrasound or CT guidance for treating symptomatic liver cysts.
This procedure requires repeat procedures if the cyst refills and provides only temporary relief and does not eliminate the cyst.
Liver cysts, although usually symptomless and noncancerous, can cause discomfort and complications when they grow larger in size or multiply by themselves.
Recognizing the symptoms and seeking timely medical intervention is important for proper diagnosis and treatment.
While prevention of liver cysts is challenging, liver health can be promoted by undergoing regular medical check-ups and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The treatment options range from observation and monitoring to surgical intervention as per the size and presence of cysts.
Since liver cysts are of various sizes and characteristics, if you suspect that you have liver cysts or experience any related symptoms, you have to consult with a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment recommendations.