Liver Cysts

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Liver cyst is a common condition and usually detected incidentally while doing routine checkup. Nobody needs to be alarmed if this cyst is detected. You should consult your doctor for further evaluation.Mostly these are simple cysts which do not require any treatment. Simple liver cyst only requires treatment if they are symptomatic. There are no medications to decrease the size of the cysts, neither aspiration of the cyst is the treatment. These cysts can be easily tackled through laparoscopic approach in which a wall of the cyst is excised(Fenestration).

Occasionally, a liver cyst may have a solid component in the scan which signifies that it may be a cystadenoma or carcinoma . Then it requires urgent surgical consultation and further workup for excision.

Hydatid Cysts

Hydatid cyst of the liver is a common condition in India resulting from infection by a parasite known as Echinococcus. The usual causes of infection are eating uncooked/undercooked food, unwashed fruits/vegetables, and close contact with dogs. When humans pick up the infection, it results in formation of a parasitic cyst inside the liver and/or other organs including lungs, muscles, and brain.

People harbouring the cyst may be asymptomatic or present with dull abdominal pain. Cysts are normally seen on an imaging like ultrasonography, CT scan or MRI. They have a distinctive appearance on imaging but sometimes may require further investigations for confirmation of diagnosis. A blood test for antibodies to the parasite is frequently prescribed and and is indicative of infection. These cysts require treatment to prevent progression, spread and/or rupture. Treatment is primarily surgical.

During surgery either part of the cyst wall is removed (deroofing)after taking precautions to prevent any spillage or whole of the cyst ( pericystectomy) is removed. If there is any spillage of cyst fluid inside the abdomen, the infection may recur after sometime. We prefer laparoscopic pericystectomy in suitable cases or open deroofing. patients who are not candidates for surgery may be treated with injection therapy ( PAIR) or medicine ( albendazole).

Liver Abscesses

Liver abscesses are collection of pus inside the liver. It will present with pain abdomen, fever and fatigue. An ultrasound or CT scan can diagnose this problem. Treatment is antibiotics and sometimes ultrasound guided drainage of the pus. Rarely a liver tumour can present as an abscess.

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