When fluid-filled sacs appear on your liver, they are called river cysts. Generally, all liver cysts are harmless and do not grow large enough to cause any discomfort. However, there are cases when the cysts can turn harmful. You should visit a healthcare provider to monitor the liver cyst and proceed with suitable treatment. So, what would cause liver cysts? Learn all about it in this blog post.
Symptoms of a Liver Cyst
If you have a liver cyst, typically, no symptoms appear. However, here are some symptoms you may notice:
- Dull pain in the upper right area of your belly
- Lack of appetite
- Feeling full after eating a small amount of food
- Shortness of breath
- You may be able to feel large bumps in your belly
What Would Cause a Cyst on My Liver?
You can develop a cyst on your liver due to malformation of the bile ducts, but the exact reason behind the malformation is unclear. Your liver produces bile to aid in digestion, and the fluid travels from your liver to the gallbladder with the help of ducts or tube-like structures.
It is also possible to be born with liver cysts, but many do not form cysts until they are much older. Generally, cysts that are present at birth go undetected until they start exhibiting symptoms.
There is a link between liver cysts and echinococcus, which is a parasite found in regions where cattle and sheep live. You may be at risk of an infection if you ingest contaminated food. As a result, the parasite can develop cysts in different parts of the body, including the liver. In many cases, there is a family history of medical conditions that cause liver cysts.
Treatment for Liver Cyst
If you have a smaller cyst, the doctor will recommend waiting. You will need treatment if the cyst becomes larger and causes discomfort. Many times, pain and bleeding might occur as a result of larger liver cysts. If this happens, your doctor will discuss the treatment options.
One approach is to insert a needle into the abdomen in order to surgically drain the fluid from the liver cyst. However, this procedure could be just a temporary fix as the cyst may refill with fluid later on.
To avoid the liver cyst from recurring, you can opt for surgical removal. Your doctor can incorporate a laparoscopy technique to remove the cyst with a minimally invasive procedure. To do so, they will make two or three minor incisions and use an instrument called a laparoscope. You will need to remain in the hospital for one night. Generally, it takes two weeks to fully recover after the surgery.
When you have a liver cyst, the doctor might order a blood test to confirm if there is a parasite or not. If there is a parasite, the doctor will recommend antibiotics in order to treat the infection.
Though the liver cyst appears without any clear reason, malformation of the bile duct is the cause, but it is unknown why it happens. Parasite is another reason you may have a cyst on your liver.