The kidneys are bean-shaped organs that perform the vital function of filtering out the waste products from the blood. These are located in the middle of the one's back and below rib cage, on either side of the spine. At times, fluid-filled sacs form within the kidneys. These are referred to as renal cysts. Also known as kidney cysts, these structures could develop in one or both kidneys. These can be diagnosed with the help of imaging studies. There could be a single or multiple cysts within one or both the kidneys. Multiple cysts are generally indicative of certain serious kidney diseases. If the tests reveal the presence of fluid-filled sacs on the walls of the kidney, further testing is required to determine whether the cyst is simple or complex. A simple kidney cyst has a thin wall and is filled with clear fluid. Some of the simple cysts might have blood within the walls. While having a simple or benign kidney cyst is usually not a cause of serious concern, the same cannot be said about a complex kidney cyst, which is a cyst that has irregular characteristics. Since these cysts could be malignant and indicative of kidney cancer, doctors generally recommend the removal of cyst through surgery. Renal cyst removal through surgery will help in preventing cancer from spreading.
Causes and Symptoms
While some people have kidney cysts at birth, cysts might develop as a result of certain diseases. At times, such cysts might be formed owing to overburdening of kidneys with toxins. Cysts could be formed when the lymphatic vessels that lead to the kidneys get blocked. The formation of multiple cysts is often attributed to certain serious diseases such as polycystic kidney disease or medullary sponge kidney. A genetic disposition to renal cystic disease is a great risk factor. If the renal function gets badly affected due to kidney vascular diseases, one is most likely to develop cysts in the kidneys. Tapeworm infestation could also cause kidney cysts. Well, whatever be the cause behind the formation of complex cysts, the symptoms could be quite distressing. The symptoms could be mild or severe depending on the size and the type of the cyst. If the size of the cyst is large, it could start putting pressure on the kidney or the surrounding organs. One might experience back pain. Complications could develop if the cyst get ruptured and bleed. This could increase the risk of infection. One might experience pain in the back as well as the sides. Symptoms such as frequent urination, painful urination or presence of blood in urine might be experienced by the patient. The removal of complex cysts through surgery is generally recommended for alleviating these symptoms.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Simple cysts give rise to symptoms very rarely, if they do, health care provider can perform procedures called aspiration or sclerosis, wherein the fluid is sucked out with the help of a needle, followed by injecting certain material to scar the space in the cyst. If the cyst gets filled up again, a procedure called laparoscopic cyst decortication might be performed to remove it. This involves making small incisions and inflating the space with gas, followed by cutting out the wall of the cyst. If tests indicate irregularities such as calcification of cysts, formation of walls within the cyst or proof of blood supply to a part of the cyst, then tests are conducted over a period of time to see the changes in the cyst. If the cyst is cancerous, doctors try to determine the best treatment. Surgical removal might be recommended for getting rid of the cyst. After the surgical kidney cyst removal, patient will be required to take all possible precautions and follow the advice given by the doctor. Regular testing will be required to monitor the kidney function.
Though a simple cyst doesn't have serious repercussions on one's health, complex cysts can be a precursor to kidney cancer. If your tests reveal the presence of such cysts, consult a doctor to find out about the best treatment option soon.