Simple kidney cysts are commonly diagnosed using the following tests:
- Imaging tests: These tests can provide clear images of the inside of the body. It can be used to distinguish between cystic and malignant kidney masses. Imaging procedures including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), and ultrasound are frequently used to identify simple kidney cysts.
- Laboratory tests: Such as kidney function test, blood and urine tests can find out if simple kidney cysts are compromising kidney function.
Treatment may not be needed: Most simple kidney disease do not require treatment. If it has no symptoms, no impact on kidney function, or not exerting too much pressure on another organ, the doctor may only advise monitoring it through imaging tests for any changes. In some cases, simple kidney cysts disappear on their own. Treatment may be recommended if the kidney cysts changes or develops symptoms.
Treatments for cysts that cause symptoms: Symptomatic simple kidney cysts may be treated with these procedures:
- Aspiration and sclerotherapy: This a minimally invasive procedure and one of the most common treatments for kidney cysts. An alcohol or chemical solution is injected using a needle. It results in scarring and aids in keeping the cyst from once more seeping fluid.
Sometimes this surgery entails puncturing the cyst, emptying it, and then filling it with a solution. The doctor inserts a longer needle under the skin to pierce the cyst and drain the fluid. The chemical solution will prevent the cysts from regenerating.
- Surgery: Laparoscopic surgery can be used to remove large cysts by inserting thin devices through small abdominal incisions. The device has a camera that allows the doctor to see the inside of the body during surgery. In this procedure, the surgeon drains the cyst first before cutting or burning the cyst away. The treatment is more frequently applied to complicated cysts with potentially cancerous alterations. Simple cysts are rarely surgically removed.
The treatments for simple kidney cysts are generally effective and rarely causes complications. Some may require a temporary hospital stay post-treatment.