Kidney cysts, which are also called renal cysts, are relatively common among older individuals. Few of them cause any symptoms or do any real harm to the patient, but there are exceptions. It’s important to identify the symptoms, especially in light of the chance that they turn into a medical issue.

What are Kidney Cysts?

A cyst is a essentially a pouch full of fluid that forms inside the body. They sometimes form on or around the kidneys. Scientists haven’t found the precise cause of kidney cysts, but they have noticed that they are much more common in the elderly than in young people. Some people even end up with more than one of them at the same time.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

The good news is that the vast majority of these cysts are harmless. Most patients will only find out that they have kidney cysts if a doctor notices them during a routine examination or during an unrelated medical treatment. That having been said, there are some cases that do require treatment. Doctors usually diagnose those cases with an ultrasound, MRI, or other technique that allows them to examine the kidneys. Doctors may also want to take a closer look at any cysts that look unusual, to make sure that they not cancerous growths.

There are cases where the cysts can become harmful. That usually happens when they grow to be larger than normal, or when they get infected. Some of them can also cause problems by bursting. These unusual cysts can cause a variety of symptoms, which vary from case to case.

Many people who have problems with their cysts experience pain, usually around the kidneys or the rest of the abdomen. That area can also feel tender. Some people develop fevers, especially when a cyst becomes infected. Other symptoms include changes in urination frequency or traces of blood found in the urine. Cysts share those symptoms with a variety of other diseases, so we encourage people to get a medical examination as soon as they start to experience any of them.

Treatment Options

Kidney cysts only require treatment if they are causing problems for the patient. The process is normally fairly simple. It starts by getting in touch with a qualified doctor who has experience treating kidney problems, like Dr. Menhem.

The doctor will need to conduct an examination to make sure that cysts are causing the symptoms and to figure out the best treatment option. There are two common choices. The doctor will choose a procedure based on the details of the case and the needs of the patient.

Sclerotherapy is a popular choice because it is a fairly simple outpatient procedure and doesn’t require invasive surgery. The doctor inserts a needle through the skin and into the cyst. They drain the cyst and then inject a solution that will cause it to shrink and harden to help prevent future problems.

The alternative is surgery, which is most appropriate for large cysts. The doctor will make an incision, drain the cyst, and remove the outer membrane. This is much more invasive and usually requires general anesthesia, but it is highly effective.