Causes of Kidney Cysts and How They Can be Treated


A cyst is a round sac filled with fluid. This pouch of thin-walled tissue grows in the kidneys, the bean-shaped organs responsible for filtering waste out of the bloodstream. You may have one cyst on one kidney or many cysts on both the kidneys.

There are two types of cysts:

  • Simple cysts
    Such cysts contain fluid and generally do not cause any harm.
  • Polycystic kidney disease
    This is a progressive disease that can eventually lead to kidney failure.

Here, we will discuss some of the common causes and treatments of kidney cysts to help you gain a better understanding of the condition.

Common Symptoms
Before we get to the causes and treatments of kidney cysts, let’s look at some of the most common symptoms. It is important to note that a lot of times simple cysts do not cause any symptoms. They only occur if the cyst enlarges or gets infected.

  • Fever
  • Pain and swelling in the upper abdomen
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain in the back or side between pelvis and ribs
  • Dark urine
  • Blood in the urine

Each kidney contains thousands of tiny tubules that carry urine. In case these tubes become swollen or blocked, they fill up with fluid and result in the formation of a cyst. Generally, as one gets older, the chances of developing cysts increase. On the other hand, polycystic kidney disease is an inherited condition, often caused due to a change in genes.

For an accurate diagnosis, you need to consult a urologist. He or she may take a blood or urine sample to see how well your kidneys are functioning. In addition, your doctor may get any of these three tests done:

  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Ultrasound

If the size of the cyst is small, it may not require any formal treatment. However, if the size expands, the two common treatments done are as follows:

  • Sclerotherapy
    This is a simple procedure that involves draining the cyst. The doctor will insert a thin needle through the skin into the cyst and drain out the fluid.
  • Surgery
    A large cyst is removed by laparoscopy by trained surgeons under the effect of anesthesia.

A lot of times, people mistake kidney cysts as kidney stones and begin with kidney stones treatment, which is extremely dangerous. However, it is important to understand the difference between the two and plan the line of treatment accordingly after medical consultation.

Now that you have understood the causes and treatments of kidney cysts, consult a doctor whenever you experience any symptoms.

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