What Causes Liver Cysts: 4 Important Treatment You Must Know

Liver Cysts are also called polycystic liver 1disease. In simple words, liver cysts are fluid-filled sacs that sometimes appear on the liver. Liver cysts are prevalent in each and every age group.

Cysts in the liver are also referred to as liver tumors sometimes. This tumor may be hepatic cysts or sometimes just simple liver cysts. Liver cysts sometimes also cause liver failure or liver cancer.

The cysts also promote other diseases like hydatid disease, polycystic liver disease PLD, hepatic resection, hydatid cysts, superficial cystic tumors, and many more.

Most liver cysts are benign, but some liver cysts convert into polycystic liver disease PLD or sometimes liver cancer; in such cases, a liver biopsy is performed along with sometimes a liver transplant.

Liver cysts also affect the kidney in severe cases and cause polycystic kidney disease, which requires immediate attention and treatment. The treatment option is a kidney transplant along with some medication.

What Causes Liver Cysts?

Liver cysts are fluid-filled and appear in the liver. Almost all liver cysts are benign, called the non-cancerous hepatic cysts. Liver cysts affect liver function widely and grow slowly into large cysts that need to be surgically removed.

31995726 a large liver mass 1
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Some large cysts cause problems like abnormal sacs, problems in bile ducts, and also the reason behind the malformation present at birth.

A parasite called echinococcus2 is responsible for developing liver cysts. These simple cysts may sometimes develop into very large grapes that need treatment and surgery. If any noticeable symptoms are there, consult your nearest doctor as soon as possible; the doctor will suggest a CT imaging test, computerized tomography, or surgery in severe cases.

Are benign Liver Cysts Common?

Benign liver cysts, also called simple cysts, are the most common type. Almost 15% to 18% of the population in the United Nations has liver cysts, and almost 5% to 10% of people worldwide have cysts.

Which Types Of Cysts Required Surgery?

Two types of cystic liver diseases mostly require surgery and other treatment options.

1. Hydatid Disease

This is generally caused by a parasite that passes to humans from animals. Another name for this disease is Cystic Echinococcosis. In this, almost 2 to 3-millimeter tapeworm is found in the intestines. 

2. PLD

PLD refers to Polycystic liver disease. The person inherits this disease; in simple words, this disease is genetic. In this, the person develops clusters of benign on the livers. This is the result of embryonic ductal malformation. In most cases, this disease is genetic3, but there are some cases also in which this disease is found and have no family history with this disease. 

Symptoms Of Liver Cysts

Simple cysts, liver cysts, cystic hepatic lesions, cystic tumors, and simple hepatic cysts all have the same symptoms.

According to the study taking place in the year 2015, around only, 5 to 10% of liver cysts cause mild and other symptoms.

These systems generally occur or are visible in people who belong to the age group of 60 to 70 years. These symptoms include

  1. Pain in the upper abdomen.

  2. Dull pain

  3. Abdominal pain

  4. Protruding stomach

  5. Bloating in the abdominal area

  6. Heartburn

  7. Vomiting

  8. Nausea

  9. Shoulder Pain

  10. Pain in the upper right portion

All these symptoms are generally visible in the patient when the liver cysts start bleeding. If the liver cysts become too large, they can be easily diagnosed. Such liver cysts require treatment immediately. Sometimes these liver cysts or multiple cysts require surgery.

These liver cysts are dangerous and can be converted into liver cancer. If the following symptoms are seen in any person, they need immediate attention. Various blood tests and CT scans are performed to diagnose liver cysts.

Treatment Options

Though liver tumors, cyst fenestration, and cystic tumors are very dangerous, some medications and surgery are still developed to treat liver cysts.

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Most liver cysts do not require treatment and are mostly benign, which means non-cancerous, but they still require attention. These treatments include

1. Surgery To Remove Or Perform Surgery

Although liver cysts are mostly benign and non-cancerous, the liver cysts converted into cystic or liver tumors require surgery to protect against further complications. The doctor may also tell you about other tests for diagnosing liver cysts, like blood tests and imaging tests. Surgery is the last option.

2. Antibiotic

Antibiotics are the kind of medicines that are produced by one microorganism 4to stop or kill the growth of another microorganism. Antibiotics are also given in the case of a liver cyst. Many microorganisms are responsible for liver cyst development.

3. Percutaneous Aspiration

This is generally a technique in which the Needles and Catheters are inserted into the liver, cysts fluid is drained, and Ultrasound is used for this purpose. This procedure is done to remove the unnecessary fluid filled in the liver. 

4. Cysts Fenestration

In simple words, cysts fenestration is the process in which the connection is established between the arachnoid cysts5 and the cerebrospinal fluid, the pathway related to the brain. So, the brain can find out that something is wrong in this position and provide a signal to the immune system to get it destroyed. The cyst wall establishes this connection and is removed from the large cysts.


Many times liver cyst symptoms are not visible, and doctors are very confused about whether the patient has a liver cyst or not. In these cases, various techniques are used by doctors in the diagnosis of liver cysts.

And the most common way to find out the liver cyst is through an imaging test. Imaging tests reveal cysts include

1. Ultrasound

Ultrasound is the first and foremost imaging practice that the doctor suggests in diagnosing a liver cyst.

A liver cyst, as mentioned, causes symptoms like vomiting, nausea, and many more. The doctor may refer the patient for an ultrasound test if such symptoms are seen.

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2. Computed Tomography Scan

The doctor may also perform a computed tomography scan to confirm the liver cysts. CT Scan uses several series of X-rays and a computer to make and create 3-D images of any soft tissue.

3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Before a liver biopsy is performed, the doctor always goes for an MRI because it confirms any kind of liver disease. MRI can detect all kinds of liver diseases and liver cysts.

Organizations like the British liver trust and many more work for patients suffering from cystic liver tumors. This organization spreads information related to the liver cyst and its main cause and symptoms and tells about laparoscopic management.

Final Note

Liver According to the American liver foundation and peer-reviewed studies, the liver cyst is the development of small lesions on or in the liver filled with fluid.

These liver cysts may or may not be dangerous. A liver biopsy is performed, and a small piece of liver is cut through the Cleveland Clinic techniques and examined under the microscope.

The liver cyst may sometimes be filled with blood, and when it burns, bleeding occurs, which is very harmful and life-threatening to the individual; in this situation, doctors may try to prevent bleeding first and then follow the other protocols for the treatment.


Q. Can liver cysts be treated with antibiotics?
  • We recommend first-line treatment with oral ciprofloxacin. In case of failure, percutaneous cyst drainage needs to be considered.
Q. Are multiple liver cysts common?
  • Liver cysts occur in approximately 5% of people. The majority of cysts are benign, but all cancers are able to produce malignant cysts. Patients typically present with a single liver cyst, although multiple cysts sometimes develop. Liver cysts rarely impair the liver’s ability to function.
Q. What is the recovery time for liver cyst surgery?
  • Recovery times for liver cyst excisions can vary, so your HPB consultant will explain when you can expect to leave the hospital and get back to your routine. Most people make a full recovery within two weeks, and the risk of the cyst recurring has been shown to be very low.
Understanding the Prevalence of Liver Disease in the US Statistics and Facts
Icy Health

  1. Zhang, Ze-Yu, Zhi-Ming Wang, and Yun Huang. “Polycystic liver disease: Classification, diagnosis, treatment process, and clinical management.” World journal of hepatology 12.3 (2020): 72. ↩︎
  2. Woolsey, Ian David, and Andrea L. Miller. “Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato and Echinococcus multilocularis: A review.” Research in veterinary science 135 (2021): 517-522. ↩︎
  3. Katoch, Sourabh, Sumit Singh Chauhan, and Vijay Kumar. “A review on genetic algorithm: past, present, and future.” Multimedia tools and applications 80 (2021): 8091-8126. ↩︎
  4. Jayan, Heera, Hongbin Pu, and Da-Wen Sun. “Recent development in rapid detection techniques for microorganism activities in food matrices using bio-recognition: A review.” Trends in Food Science & Technology 95 (2020): 233-246. ↩︎
  5. Deopujari, Chandrashekhar E., et al. “Experience with management of intracranial arachnoid cysts.” Journal of Neurological Surgery Part A: Central European Neurosurgery 82.01 (2020): 043-052. ↩︎

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