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What is the typical treatment of hepatic cysts?

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Quick Answer

Most hepatic cysts disappear on their own without treatment, but malignant or enlarged cysts may require fluid drainage, surgical removal and drug therapy, according to Inner Body. In some cases, a liver transplant may be needed.

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Full Answer

If the hepatic cyst is malignant or causing symptoms, the doctor may perform fluid drainage for temporary relief in addition to surgery, according to Inner Body. A surgeon normally removes the entire cyst via a minimally invasive laparoscopy, which involves the use of thin surgical instruments that enter the body through tubes placed in the abdomen. For parasitic cysts, up to two years of chemotherapy may be performed in conjunction with surgery, and medications for parasitic worms may also be needed.

While simple hepatic cysts are small, common and present at birth, other cysts are caused by an Echinococcus tapeworm infection, states Inner Body. Cystadenomas are cystic tumors present at birth that may become cancerous, and the rare genetic condition polycystic liver disease is characterized by a cluster of more than 20 cysts. Symptoms may occur when a cyst grows and causes pressure on other organs, which may lead to pain in the upper right abdomen, bloating or a feeling of fullness. In cases of Echinococcus infection, fever and severe itching may occur.

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