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What are the treatments for kidney cysts?

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Quick Answer

Treatment options for kidney cysts usually include puncturing and draining the cyst, at which point it may be filled with alcohol, states Mayo Clinic. Surgery may also be used to remove the cyst. However, if the cyst is diagnosed as a simple kidney cyst, no treatment may be necessary.

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Full Answer

Kidney cysts are round patches of fluid that form in a patient's kidneys, according to Mayo Clinic. Sometimes these cysts interfere with the ability of the kidney to function properly, causing serious conditions. However, the most common types of kidney cysts are non-cancerous and rarely cause symptoms. In these cases, treatment is not necessary.

If a kidney cyst is causing symptoms, doctors may first decide to drain the cyst to shrink its size, states Mayo Clinic. A doctor inserts a large needle through the patient's skin and punctures the cyst, which allows it to be drained. The doctor may sometimes fill the cyst with alcohol to prevent it from recurring, as cysts treated in this fashion have a high chance of appearing again. Therefore, this type of treatment is usually reserved for special circumstances.

For larger cysts or ones causing serious symptoms, surgery may be recommended, says Mayo Clinic. A surgeon makes several small incisions in a patient's body. Using special tools and a tiny video camera, the surgeon first drains the cyst and then burns or cuts away the walls of the cyst.

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