The causes of kidney cysts have not been medically confirmed, but males over age 50 are more likely to develop cysts, explains WebMD. As people age, the likeliness of kidney cysts developing increases.
Kidney cysts develop when layers of the kidney weaken and form fluid-filled pouches that detach from the surface layer of the kidney, ultimately forming a cyst, according to Mayo Clinic.
The cysts that develop in the kidney consist of fluid-filled pouches of smooth, thin-walled tissue, explains WebMD. Some individuals develop multiple kidney cysts that can double in size as age increases. Most patients do not experience pain or symptoms; however, in severe cases, kidney cysts cause impaired kidney function, infections that produce chills and fever, bleeding, and pain in the upper abdomen, back or side when enlarged cysts press on other organs.
Physicians detect kidney cysts by conducting an ultrasound of the kidney, according to WebMD. Patients who do not exhibit severe symptoms are monitored to ensure the cysts do not impair kidney function or press against other organs. Kidney cysts can be surgically drained. Physicians insert a long needle into the skin to drain the fluid and fill the pouches with an alcohol-based solution to harden the tissues.