About Kidney Cysts
The kidneys are one of the most important organs found in your body as they help in removing wastes and cleaning the blood. When the kidneys are filled with around pouch of fluid, one is said to have a Kidney Cyst. A person may have a kidney cyst in one of the kidneys or sometimes both of your kidneys.
There are basically two types of Kidney Cysts that a person may develop: Simple Kidney Cysts and Polycystic Kidney Disease. The main common type of Kidney Cysts is the Simple Cysts as they are simply individual cysts that are formed in the kidneys. These type of kidneys cysts are harmless and cannot damage or hinder the normal functioning of a patient’s kidneys.
On the other hand, polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a hereditary medical condition that ends up forming many Cysts in the kidneys of a patient. A person that has this type of Kidney disease is at a great risk of losing the kidneys as they may end up damaging them. This prevents them from performing their normal function leading to the accumulation of wastes and development of other kidney diseases such as Kidney stones.
Generally, normal kidney cysts are harmless and at times one may not even realize that they are suffering from this medical condition. The cysts are so small in size that they cannot be seen with the naked eye and hence a doctor will use a microscope to detect their presence in your kidneys. However, Kidney cysts may sometimes grow larger and end up pressing the organs that surround your kidneys. This action brings about the pain that leaves a patient restless whenever the cysts press theses organs. Simple Kidney cysts are mainly detected when a doctor performs an imaging test of another medical condition that a patient may be suffering from.
Symptoms of Kidney Cysts
Simple Kidney Cysts Symptoms
Simple kidney stones rarely display any symptoms unless they grow into larger cysts that can be easily detected by a doctor. Simple Kidney cysts may display symptoms such as:
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Presence of blood in urine
- Swelling of a patient’s abdomen
- A dull pain in your side or back
- Having a constant urge to urinate
Polycystic Kidney Disease Symptoms
This type of Kidney Cysts may display symptoms such as:
- Presence of blood in urine
- High blood pressure
- Pin in your back and side
Causes of Kidney Cysts
The exact cause of simple kidney cysts has not been identified by doctors. However, there are quite a number of explanations that depict the exact cause of Simple Kidney Cysts. According to one explanation, it is believed that Kidney Cysts are formed as a result of the blockage in the tiny tubules that are found in your Kidneys. These tiny tubules are mainly tasked with the role of collecting urine. When the tubules are blocked, they end up swelling and eventually being filled with fluid thus forming Kidney Cysts.
There is also another theory that tries to explain the exact cause of Kidney Cysts. In this theory, it is believed that the cysts are formed when the surface area of the kidney is weakened thus forming a pouch commonly referred to as Diverticulum. The diverticulum is then filled with a fluid that forces it to detach hence leading to the formation of Kidney Cysts. Kidney Cysts mainly develop as one grows older and are mostly witnessed by older men as compared to women. Polycystic Kidney Diseases is usually an inherited condition meaning it is passed on from one family member to another.
In most scenarios, kidney cysts do not bring about any complication to a patient. However, when the cysts are very large, they can lead to complications such as:
- Burst Cysts
When the Kidney Cysts ends up bursting, a severe pain is usually felt in one’s back or side.
- Infection in the cysts
An infected cyst brings about fever and pain in the upper abdomen of a patient.
- Blocking the normal flow of urine
Urine needs to flow freely for the swift removal of wastes out of the body. When the normal flow of urine is prevented, the kidneys may end up swelling in a condition called Hydronephrosis.
- High blood pressure
Diagnosis of Kidney Cysts
In order for a patient to diagnose a kidney cyst, the help of a Urologist is needed. A kidney Diagnosis may be done using:
- Kidney Function Tests
A blood sample is usually taken by a Urologist to determine whether the Kidney Cysts has impaired the normal functioning of a patient’s kidneys.
- Imaging Tests
There are quite a number of imaging tests that can be carried out on a person. They include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computerized Tomography (CT) scan.
Treatment of Kidney Cysts
If the Kidney Cysts does not show any sign or symptom, then seeking treatment is not necessary as it will not cause any harm to the kidneys or body. However, if it develops too large cysts that start showing symptoms, then your doctor will need to offer treatment like:
When the cysts are very large, a surgery is needed to get rid of it. To reach the location of the cyst, a surgeon is forced to make an incision in your skin from where a small video camera and a special tool are inserted. The tool is carefully guided into the kidneys and used in completely draining the fluid. Once this procedure is done with, the walls of these cysts are burned away to prevent them from reoccurring.
- Puncturing and Draining the Kidney Cyst
A Urologist may also decide to reduce the size of large cysts by inserting a long, thin needle through your skin into the Kidney Cyst. The fluid is then drained away hence reducing its size. Once this is done, the cyst is filled with alcohol that prevents it from reappearing again.
Regardless of the kind of treatment that your doctor may recommend, one may be required to stay in the medical center for quite some time.