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11 Symptoms of Liver Cysts and Pain-Causes and Treatment

Liver cysts are like the fluid-filled sacs that are formed in the liver. They are benign growths, which means they are not cancerous. These cysts do not require treatment until symptoms of liver cysts and pain develop, and they rarely affect liver function. 

Liver cysts are uncommon, affecting only 5 percent of the population. Some people have a single cyst or a simple cyst, and no liver cyst symptoms accompany the growth. 

Others may develop polycystic liver disease (PLD), characterized by multiple cystic growths on the liver. Although PLD causes many cysts, the liver may continue to function properly with this disease, and having the disease may not reduce life expectancy. 

In this Article

  1. What causes Liver Cysts to Grow
  2. Symptoms of Liver Cysts and Pain
  3. How to Diagnose Liver Cysts
  4. How to Treat a Liver Cyst
  5. Liver Cyst Pain Relief
  6. What is the Average size of a Liver cyst
  7. How Dangerous is a Liver Cyst
  8. Liver Cyst Cancer Symptoms
  9. Rare Liver Cyst Dangers 

What causes Liver Cysts to Grow

Liver cysts result from a malfunction in the bile ducts, although the exact cause of this pathology is unknown. Bile is a sap generated by the liver, which assists in the process of digestion. This fluid passes from the liver to the gallbladder through ducts or tube-like structures.

Some people are born with liver cysts, while others do not develop cysts until they become very large. Even when cysts are present at birth, they may go undiagnosed until symptoms arise later in adulthood. 

There is also a link between liver cysts and a parasite called echinococcus. This parasite is found in regions where cattle and sheep reside. The parasite can cause the development of cysts in various parts of the body, including the liver. 

In the case of PLD, the disease may be inherited when there is a family history of the condition, or the disease may occur for no apparent reason. 

Symptoms of Liver Cysts and Pain

Symptoms of Liver Cysts and Pain

Because a small liver cyst usually does not cause symptoms, it can remain undiagnosed for years. As the cyst becomes larger, symptoms may include abdominal swelling or pain in the upper right side of the abdomen. If you experience significant enlargement, you may be able to feel the cyst from the outside of your abdomen. 

You may have sharp and sudden pain in your upper abdomen if the cyst starts to bleed. Sometimes, bleeding ends on its own without medical therapy. If so, the pain and other symptoms may subside within a few days. 

Of those who develop a liver cyst, only 5 percent have symptoms of liver cysts and pain.

1. Sensations of Pain 

You can experience pain sensations in the upper right portion of the abdomen, which corresponds to the location of the liver inside the human body. 

2. Abdominal Pain 

If the liver cysts continue to increase in size, the sensation of abdominal pain can also progressively increase.

3. Abdominal Fullness 

Swelling of the abdomen resulting in a liver cyst can lead to sensations of abdominal fullness. 

4. Abdominal Bloating 

Swelling of the abdomen caused by a liver cyst can lead to sensations of abdominal bloating in people with this condition. 

5. Shoulder Pain 

If a liver cyst goes on with swelling, it can lead to shoulder pain. 

6. Discomfort 

When the cyst enlarges, some people undergo pain and other discomforts. 

7. Unexplained Weight loss 

If a liver cyst enlarges and continues for a long period, then you may experience weight loss. 

8. Nausea and Vomiting 

Sometimes, you may feel nausea and vomiting. These symptoms may subside within a few days of getting trapped into this. 

9. Internal Bleeding 

If a liver cyst goes on with swelling, it can rupture and begin to bleed. Bleeding commonly lessens without extra medical intervention, and feelings of pain progressively decrease a few days after a liver cyst rupture. 

How to Diagnose Liver Cysts? 

Because some liver cysts do not cause noticeable symptoms, treatment is always necessary as you notice the liver cysts’ symptoms

If you choose to visit a doctor for abdominal pain or abdominal enlargement, your doctor may instruct an imaging test to review any abnormalities with your liver.

You may undergo an ultrasound or a CT scan of your abdomen. Both procedures create images of the inside of your body, which your doctor will use to confirm or rule out a mass or mass. 

How to Treat a Liver Cyst

how to treat a cyst on your liver

1. Medical Treatment 

Your doctor may choose not to care for a small cyst, instead proposing a wait-and-see approach. If the cyst becomes bigger and results in pain or bleeding, your doctor can talk about treatment options at that time. 

One medical therapy alternative affects injecting a needle into your abdomen and surgically draining watery materials from the cyst. This procedure may only provide a temporary fix, and the cyst may later refill with fluid. To avoid recurrence, another option is to remove the entire cyst surgically. 

Your doctor can conduct this surgery utilizing a method called laparoscopy. This minimally invasive procedure requires only two or three small incisions, and your doctor performs the surgery using a small instrument called a chronoscope. Typically, you’ll only stay in the hospital for one night, and it only takes about two weeks to recover fully. 

Once your doctor has diagnosedthey may instruct a blood test to eradicate a parasite. If you retain a parasite, you will obtain a course of antibiotics to deal with the infection.

Some incidents of PLD are serious. In this case, the ulcer may bleed heavily, cause intense pain, recur after healing, or may begin to affect liver function. In these conditions, your doctor may instruct a liver transplant. 

There is no known way to prevent liver cysts. In addition, there is not enough research to determine whether diet or smoking contributes to liver ulcers. 

Liver Cyst Natural Treatment

Here are some natural treatments that are considered beneficial in the management of liver cysts, and they also enhance liver functions: 

1. Radish Leaves

The leaf of radish is an excellent herbal treatment for liver disorders. It functions as a tonic for the liver and strengthens and fortifies it. Radish leaves stimulate body detoxification. 

2. Dandelion Root

Dandelion roots effectively treat the liver cysts symptoms; they comfort in nausea and vomiting and relieve abdominal discomfort. You need to take one spoon of the powdered root and boil it well in a bowl of water. You need to eat up thrice daily for 15 days. 

3. Lime

Lime and lemon are essential for good liver health. They tone up and facilitate the hepatocytes to function optimally. 

Liver Cyst Pain Relief

If you are experiencing pain in your liver, there are a few things that you can do to reduce the pain and inflammation.

  1. Drink plenty of water and fluids to flush out the toxins and help to reduce inflammation.
  2. Eat a nutritious diet that is high in fiber and antioxidants. These nutrients can help to fight inflammation and promote healing.
  3. Take liver-supportive supplements, such as chlorella and glutamine to help further support the liver.
  4. Apply heat to the area using a hot water bottle or heating pad. This can help to reduce inflammation and pain.
  5. Finally, seek professional medical advice if the pain persists or if there is any other complication.

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers-

Q. What is the Average size of a Liver cyst? 

Ans-The average size of the single liver cysts is approximately 11.3 cm (varies from 9.5-17 cm), and the polycystic liver disease is about 10.6 cm (ranges from 9.2-12.1 cm). The operation was demonstrated due to symptoms in all patients. 

Q. How Dangerous is a Liver Cyst? 

Ans- A liver cyst is a complete cavity in the liver. Usually, liver cysts are not cancerous and not even dangerous. When someone has a liver cyst, it often goes undetected. Most of the time, there are no symptoms of liver cysts and pain. That said, sometimes larger-than-average cysts can be felt if you press on your abdomen.

Very large cysts may burst or push against other organs, causing swelling, a feeling of fullness, and sudden pain in the upper right abdominal area. Liver cysts usually do not affect function. They can only be detected on ultrasound or CT scans. When needed, treatment may include drainage or removal of the cysts. 

Q. What are the Liver Cyst Cancer Symptoms?

Ans- There are many symptoms of liver cyst cancer, but the most common ones are: abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, clay-colored stools, and loss of appetite.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Q. What are the rare liver cyst dangers ?

Ans- Only rarely might liver cysts indicate a serious, underlying condition such as: 

● Polycystic liver disease, an inherited disorder 

Echinococcus infection, caused by a specific type of parasite 

Liver Cancer 

The cause of superficial liver cancer is unknown, but it may result from malformations. Present birth liver cysts are found in about 1% of adults and are more common in women than in men.

Q. Are liver cysts dangerous?

Ans-Mostly liver cysts are not dangerous. The majority of liver cysts are benign, meaning they are not cancerous. Cystic tumors make for around 5% of liver cysts. These cystic tumors can very rarely develop into malignant tumors and extend outside of the liver.

Q. When are liver cysts dangerous?

Ans- Liver cysts are generally harmless, but they can become dangerous if they develop in an abnormal location or if they cause obstruction to the flow of bile. If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is important to see a doctor immediately-

  • Severe stomach pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Abdominal pain that does not go away with rest
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Loss of appetite

In Closing

Overall, it is important to know the symptoms of a liver cyst. Some symptoms may not appear till the cysts get to a certain stage.

The best way to prevent getting such symptoms is by making sure you keep your liver health in check and follow healthy lifestyle habits like keeping sugar levels under control, eating fruits with low sugar content, and avoiding extra intake of alcohol.

Being aware about your liver health is also important as it can lead to serious consequences if you ignore its warning signs for too long. You can start noticing the symptoms of liver cysts and pain with our blog’s tips above!


  1. Complications arising in simple and polycystic liver cysts
  2. Rare cystic liver lesions: A diagnostic and managing challenge
  3. Hepatic cyst infection in a healthy older male

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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