Liver cysts, or hepatic cysts, are small fluid filled bubbles that form in the liver cavity. Most liver cysts are benign, and they cause no symptoms. However, cysts can enlarge, causing sufferers to experience pain in the right upper abdomen. Because these cysts present few signs, many cases are undiagnosed or found by accident. Fortunately, there are ways to cure liver cysts and alleviate any discomforting symptoms.
Have your doctor regularly monitor the cysts. If liver cysts don’t cause symptoms, such as pain, your doctor may discourage treatment. However, your doctor will likely monitor the cysts to ensure that they don’t increase in size.
Ask a doctor to drain the cysts. If the liver cysts don’t drain on their own, a doctor can make a small incision and perform a drainage procedure.
Consider surgical removal. Because liver cysts can enlarge and cause pain, physicians may choose to remove the cysts. Talk with your doctor and discuss your surgical options.
Treat the underlying medical condition. Oftentimes, liver cysts are a symptom of another medical condition, such as Caroli’s disease, polycystic kidney disease or echinococcosis. Doctors will conduct a series of test, such as a biopsy or X-ray, to diagnose the underlying condition. Afterward, they may opt to remove the cysts.
Take antibiotics. Liver cysts can become infected. If an infection occurs, take antibiotics.
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Dandelion is a natural remedy for liver cysts
Liver cysts are thin-walled, fluid-filled cavities in the liver that are detected by ultrasounds or CT scans. Patients may have one cyst or multiple cysts. Some liver cysts are present from birth; other liver cysts can be indicative of a more serious condition. These conditions include liver cancer, polycystic liver disease or a parasitic infection. Cysts can cause a range of symptoms from abdominal fullness to discomfort or pain. Most liver cysts are benign, or hepatic, and do not require treatment. However, patients are evaluated for the types of cysts present before a course of treatment is recommended.
Cystic liver lesions include simple cysts, multiple cysts arising in the setting of polycystic liver disease, abscesses, parasitic or echinococcal cysts and cystic tumors. These conditions can usually be distinguished by the basis of the patient’s symptoms and the radiographic appearance of the lesion. Patients who require treatment for cysts may have problematic symptoms or pain, but this typically occurs in only 5 percent of those who suffer from liver cysts. In these cases, the cysts must be removed because puncturing them and removing fluid with a needle is not effective; they fill with fluid again in a few days. The most effective traditional treatment is to remove a large portion of the cyst wall laparoscopically with two or three small incisions; patients typically fully recover within two weeks. Most cysts do not return after the treatment.
Cysts that do not cause the patient pain or further complications are generally not treated medically and are common, particularly in aging individuals. Patients with typical hepatic cysts are advised to change dietary habits and lead a healthier lifestyle to avoid further complications or liver disease.
Although painful cysts are usually treated laproscopically without more invasive types of surgery, some patients opt to shrink smaller cysts and prevent future cysts with changes in diet. Recommended dietary changes include avoiding or limiting dairy products, trans fats and margarines, deep fried or fatty foods, meats with additives, antibiotics and hormones, and avoiding alcohol. Additionally, those suffering from liver cysts are advised to drink a lot of water. Because the liver processes toxins and helps digest alcohol, keeping the body hydrated and avoiding additional toxins such as caffeine or synthetic hormones can help.
Organic cures for liver cysts include a combination of herbs taken in capsule or liquid (“tonic”) form. Herbs that are most beneficial for reducing or eliminating liver cysts include dandelion, milk thistle, globe artichoke, slippery elm and taurine. Additionally, selenium, flaxseed oil and vitamin E are recommended along with raw fruits and vegetable juices. Supplements and raw juices are recommended in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle to help shrink large cysts and keep them from causing further complications.
Those with a history of cysts should avoid any additional toxins to prevent further cysts from occurring. Cigarette smoke, heavy cleaners or fumes, insecticides and high doses of over-the-counter pain medications can help prevent additional cysts.
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A liver cyst is a small area in the liver which will either look like a thin bubble, or will be similar to a small depression. A cyst may be filled with fluid, or it can be empty. There are a number of different causes of liver cysts, but many of them are not serious and will not affect the patient’s life. However, in some cases a liver cyst can cause pain and obstruction of the bile ducts. In addition, cysts that are caused by bacterial or parasitic infection can rupture, leading to the bacteria or parasite spreading throughout the abdomen.
In general, liver cysts do not need to be treated. While the cysts are at risk for infection or for blocking hepatic ducts, until they cause any symptoms there is generally no need to treat them in any way. In general, liver cysts that aren’t causing symptoms will be diagnosed by an MRI or CT scan but can be left alone.
Cysts Caused by Parasites
Some liver cysts are the result of infection by certain parasites, such as echinococcus organisms. These are small worms that preferentially live in the liver and must be killed off before any other treatment is given. For a liver cyst caused by parasitic infections, the first course of treatment is to inject ethanol into the liver cyst to kill off the parasites.
In the event that a liver cyst is causing symptoms (such as blocking off a bile duct or obstructing blood flow), the cyst will need to be removed. Surgical removal of a liver cyst is relatively simple, as the surgeon will remove the affected area. Because the liver is able to regenerate, the organ should heal relatively quickly.
Sometimes a liver cyst is the result of a bacterial infection. In these instances, antibiotics, such as ampicillin and tetracycline will often be orally given for four weeks in an attempt to combat the infection. If this treatment does not work, the cysts may need to be surgically removed.
In some cases it may be difficult to distinguish between a liver cyst and liver cancer on an MRI. If there is a possibility that the cyst is actually a result of a tumor, the surgeon will obtain a biopsy of the area. This biopsied tissue can be visualized under a microscope to make sure that it is just a cyst and not something more serious.
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