Our kidneys are responsible for extracting waste from our system, serving as a filter for our blood, purifying it and eliminating unwanted elements within urine. As people get older, kidneys can accumulate fluid inside little sacs, called cysts. These cysts are almost always benign and don’t cause problems at all. Basically, a cyst is a swelling. In the kidney, cysts are round, have a very thin, clear wall and are filled with watery fluid. They can range in size from microscopic size up to 2 centimeters diameter.
Cysts can be categorized as simple kidney cysts or complex kidney cysts. Simple kidney cysts have none or a very small risk of developing into a much more serious disease. This is the most common form of kidney cyst. On the contrary, complex kidney cysts are those which have a high probability of housing cancer cells.
Causes Of Kidney Cysts
Although their exact cause is unknown, experts are sure that simple kidney cysts are not inherited. This, however, could not be accurate for complex kidneys cysts. Some people have a genetically inherited predisposition to develop a condition called polycystic kidney disease, or PKD. Also, some kinds of trauma to the kidney’s area are believed to result in the formation of some simple kidney cysts.
Symptoms Of Kidney Cysts
Generally speaking, simple cysts usually do not cause visible symptoms or even harm the kidney. In some cases, however, cysts can enlarge and press on surrounding organs, causing pain as a consequence of that pressure.
Sometimes cysts also become infected or start to bleed without a visible reason. On rare cases cysts impair kidney function. Simple kidney cysts can also cause high blood pressure, especially when they affect the filtering action.
Treatment Of Kidney Cysts
When simple kidney cysts are found and there are no complications, there is no need for treatment. If simple kidney cysts cause symptoms, surgery may be needed to remove it. Laparoscopic surgery is the method of choice whenever possible, since is an almost non-intrusive surgery technique that allows the patient to leave the hospital in a short time.
Complex kidney cysts, however, are to be assessed individually, and most often require treatment against cancer and medication to help the body handle the anti-cancer treatment. When the functions of the kidneys are heavily impaired, dialysis may be required.
Prevention Of Kidney Cysts
Experts ensure that people can prevent certain types of kidney cysts by maintaining the urinary system working properly. This includes drinking good amounts of water or other liquids on a daily basis, and to reduce the consumption of salt (which causes liquid to be held in the system rather than eliminated).