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Digestive Disorders

Liver Cyst

06/02/2009

Question:

I have several liver cysts, which I know is common, however, I recently had a CT Scan and one of them has grown to 17cm. My surgeon has scheduled another CT in six months. He doesn`t seemed too worried about it and the radiologists didn`t seemed concerned either. I really trust my surgeon, he performed my pancreatic-splenectomy. Should I be concerned?

Answer:

Generally speaking, simple biliary cysts are not too much to worry about. However, the radiologists need to make the call that the cyst is indeed simple.

The indications for surgery are usually: pain associated with the cyst), compression on the stomach or other organ causing problems, or internal compression causing problems in the liver. If the cyst looks more complex, has calcifications, thickened walls, and if “we” are not sure it is complex, that is another indication for surgery.

In a vast majority of cases, we leave these cysts alone.

Another “soft” call for surgery would be if the cyst has been found to enlarge rapidly.

We mostly deal with these cysts, when necessary, using laparoscopic surgery. However, as you mentioned that you already had a major abdominal operation, that may not be possible. Nonetheless, in many instances, we can place several small trocars into the abdomen and remove the cyst easily.

I hope this helps you.

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Response by:

Steven  M Rudich, MD, PhD, FACS Steven M Rudich, MD, PhD, FACS
Formerly
Professor of Surgery, Director of Liver Transplat and Hepatobiliary Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati