About Liver Cysts

Treatment Options in Manhattan, NYC

A cyst is a fluid-filled sac of tissue that can exist anywhere within the body. A large majority of cysts that form on the liver will develop as a fetus grows within the womb, making liver cysts a common congenital condition.

Generally, liver cysts will not cause any problems with the individual’s health. However, if the cyst(s) grow large enough, they can inflict several serious symptoms or complications of the liver’s basic functions.

Liver Cyst Symptoms

The most common symptom associated with an enlarged liver cyst is pain in the abdominal area. This typically occurs in the upper right region of the abdomen, and a visible bulge may even appear from outside the body if the cyst has become large enough.

Other common symptoms of a liver cyst include:

  • Heartburn
  • Bloating
  • Constant feeling of fullness within the stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Very few patients with a liver cyst will ever experience symptoms. However, if you start to notice any abnormalities that may point to a possible liver cyst, it is important that you speak with a professional like Dr. Attiyeh immediately since it is likely that the cyst is large enough to be causing significant harm to the body. This harm most frequently relates to compromised function of the liver or other nearby organs.

Cystic Tumors

Although most liver cyst cases are the result of a benign cyst, it is entirely possible for an individual to encounter a cystic tumor of the liver. A cystic tumor poses many more risks than the standard liver cyst, as it is more likely to become cancerous. It is also possible for a malignant cystic tumor of the liver to spread to other internal organs and structures, making treatment all the more difficult.

Diagnostic Testing from the Mount Sinai Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery

Due to the location of the liver, it is not possible to definitively confirm a diagnosis of liver cysts without either performing a biopsy, or completing a type of advanced diagnostic imaging test. Imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI are commonly preferred to avoid any sort of incision needed for a biopsy, though the decision will be made on a case-by-case basis depending upon the particular patient and their preferences.

Liver Cyst Treatment Options

For smaller liver cysts that do not present any serious risk to the patients health there will likely be no treatment completed right away. These cases are best left to be monitored over time, and if at any point the liver cyst(s) begins to affect the individual’s health then treatment options will be discussed with them by Dr. Attiyeh.

Fine-Needle Aspiration

Those with more severe symptoms and complications will often undergo minimally invasive surgery to have the liver cyst removed. Some of our patients will opt for an aspiration of the cyst, which utilizes a very fine needle to drain the liquid from within the cyst. While this will surely provide immediate relief, it is entirely possible that the cyst will once again fill with fluid and cause problematic symptoms.

Laparoscopic Surgery

For a more permanent solution, many individuals will undergo a laparoscopic procedure to remove their liver cyst(s). The laparoscopic approach involves minimal incisions, and so patients can expect a simple surgery as well as a quick recover after their cyst has been cut from the liver.

Seeking Treatment at Mount Sinai

To discuss your risks and options for treatment with an experienced professional, please contact Mount Sinai’s Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery for a consultation with Dr. Attiyeh. You may request an appointment today by calling (212) 523-2387, or by submitting your information through our online form.

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