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.
What Causes Liver Cysts
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
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.
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
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 diagnosed, they 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.
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.
Lime and lemon are essential for good liver health. They tone up and facilitate the hepatocytes to function optimally.
What is the Average size of a Liver cyst?
The average size of the single 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.
How Dangerous is a Liver Cyst?
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.
Rare Liver Cyst Dangers
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
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.