Narasi.net – Kidney cysts are conditions in the kidneys caused by fluid-filled sacs (cysts) in the kidney tissue. This condition can affect one or both of your kidneys.
One of these kidney diseases is generally round with thin and clear walls. These cysts also vary in size up to 5 cm in diameter.
This disease is generally harmless to health and does not show any symptoms. This is because most cases show the cyst will shrink and disappear on its own. This condition is known as a simple kidney cyst.
However, it is possible that this fluid-filled sac can interfere with kidney function. In fact, cysts can develop into cancerous tumors.
How common are kidney cysts?
Kidney cysts are a fairly rare condition. It is estimated that this condition affects about 5% of the general population.
In addition, this disease is common in men and affects about 65-70% of kidney mass. Older people are also more prone to developing this condition in their kidneys, potentially up to 25 – 33%.
This condition can be overcome by recognizing and controlling the existing risk factors.
Types of kidney cyst
There are four main types of kidney cysts which are described as follows.
1. Simple kidney cyst
Simple kidney cyst is a type of cyst that is not so dangerous. This type of cyst does not change the shape of the kidney, replace the normal structure, or decrease kidney function.
This condition is more common with age. It is estimated that people aged 40-50 years have a percentage of about 25-50% have this cyst.
2. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
Unlike the simple one, polycystic kidney is a condition that comes from a family history. The cause of this condition is thought to come from a genetic mutation that causes tissue sacs (cysts) to grow in the kidneys.
Generally, this disease will attack both parts of the kidney. Cysts in PKD are quite dangerous and can appear in large numbers. In fact, polycystic kidney is one of the most common causes of kidney failure.
3. Medullary kidney cyst disease
This disease is also passed down through family members with the same disease. Cysts develop in the inner part (medulla) of the kidney. This condition is usually one of the causes of kidney failure in people aged 20-50 years.
4. Medullary sponge kidney
This type of disease is caused by the development of fluid sacs in the urinary tract (tubules) of the kidneys. The condition is usually present from birth (congenital) so it is possible that the cyst can be inherited from family members.
Signs and symptoms
Most people with kidney cysts have no symptoms at all. If the cyst grows large enough, it may become a problem. The following are some of the signs and symptoms that often appear when a cyst begins to enlarge.
- A bulge appears on your abdomen caused by a cyst.
- Discomfort or pain in the stomach.
- Blood in the urine (hematuria).
- Frequent urination.
- High blood pressure (unknown link).
In some cases, the symptoms of this condition are mild enough that they are often mistaken for another disease. As a result, you may be able to live with the disease throughout your life without knowing you already have a kidney cyst.
Another possibility is that there are signs and symptoms not mentioned above. If you have concerns about a particular symptom, consult your doctor.
When should you see a doctor?
If you have any of the signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult your doctor.
The body of each patient shows various signs and symptoms. To get the right treatment and according to your health condition, check whatever symptoms you are experiencing at the doctor or nearest health service center.
What causes kidney cysts?
The cause of kidney cysts, especially the simple form, is not known with certainty until now. However, some experts believe there are several factors that trigger the development of cysts in the organ that functions to filter impurities from the blood, namely:
- obstruction of tubular structures (small structures in the kidneys that collect urine),
- lack of blood supply to the kidneys,
- the release of diverticula (pouches that form in the tubules), and
- weakening of the lining of the kidney wall which causes the formation of sacs.
The four factors above are also often experienced by elderly people. Therefore, the elderly group is more at risk for this kidney function disorder.
What increases the risk of developing this condition?
Kidney cysts are disorders of the kidneys that can occur in anyone, regardless of the age or race of the sufferer. However, there are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of suffering from this condition.
Keep in mind that having one or more risk factors does not necessarily mean you will suffer from a disease or health problem. It is possible that a person can be exposed to certain diseases or health problems without having risk factors.
Below are two risk factors that can trigger the appearance of cysts in this bean-shaped organ.
The incidence of this disease is mostly found in elderly patients. Your risk of developing this condition will increase as you age.
In addition, this disease is more common in male patients than female patients.
If kidney cyst disease has no signs or symptoms, you may not need special medical attention. This is because there is a chance that the cyst will disappear by itself over time.
Meanwhile, when a cyst develops and shows symptoms that are quite disturbing, it can cause some of the complications below.
1. Cyst infection
If the cyst is not treated properly, it can lead to infection. This can cause sufferers to experience pain, fever, and other symptoms of kidney disease.
2. Cyst rupture
If the cyst is too large, there is a chance that the fluid-filled sac may burst. A ruptured cyst is at risk of bleeding and making the sufferer experience severe pain in the back or one side of the body.
Enlarged cysts also have the potential to cause hydronephrosis. Hydronephrosis is a condition when the kidneys become swollen which can block the flow of urine. If this happens, you are also at risk for other kidney diseases.
How is this condition diagnosed?
In general, kidney cysts can be detected when you have an examination or imaging tests for other health conditions. However, when you feel the signs and symptoms of this disease, you may first undergo a physical examination with a doctor.
Initially, the doctor will ask about the appearance of symptoms, the history of the disease that has been suffered, both yourself and other family members.
If it is believed that there is a cyst in the kidney, the doctor will recommend that you undergo additional kidney function tests. This is done in order to get a more accurate diagnosis. Below are some ways to diagnose kidney cysts.
1. Computerized tomography scan (CT scan)
A CT scan combines multiple images of X-rays taken from different angles. The result of a CT scan is a three-dimensional image that can show any part of the body in more detail.
With a CT scan, the doctor can determine the size, shape, and nature of the existing cyst.
2. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
The MRI technique uses radio waves and a magnetic field to produce deep images of the inside of your body, down to even the finest tissues.
An MRI can help doctors see the condition of the kidney and the cysts inside. This test can also show how big the size and type of cyst is.
3. Ultrasound (USG)
An ultrasound test uses sound waves that can produce moving or static images of your internal organs. Your kidneys can also be seen with this imaging procedure.
4. Blood test
Your doctor may also order blood tests to check for possible kidney failure or other changes in kidney function.
5. Urine test
In addition to blood tests, the doctor will also take a small sample of urine through your urine examination to be examined in a laboratory.
How to treat a simple kidney cyst?
The treatment and medical treatment that will be given depends on how severe your condition is.
In the case of a simple kidney cyst, you may not need treatment. Routine checkups may be done every 6-12 months to make sure the cyst is not getting bigger.
However, a cyst that develops and shows bothersome symptoms may require special medical attention.
At first, you will see a urologist, aka a doctor who specializes in urinary tract diseases. Then, they may recommend several treatments for this one kidney cyst, namely sclerotherapy and surgery.
If your cyst is mild, your doctor will recommend sclerotherapy.
Sclerotherapy is a process to drain the fluid inside the cyst out. This procedure involves placing an alcohol-containing solution into the cyst to prevent future cysts from forming.
In more complicated conditions, such as a recurrence of the cyst or a fluid bulge that is too large, you may need to undergo the procedure again with the aim of draining the fluid and removing or burning the outer wall.
In larger cysts, you may need surgery to remove the fluid-filled sac. This way, you can avoid further complications, such as a ruptured cyst or swollen kidney.
Before the operation begins, you will be given an anesthetic. Next, the surgical team will perform the operation using a laparoscopic procedure, which is a small instrument equipped with a camera.
Then, they will also drain fluid from the cyst which will be cut or burned on its outer wall. If the operation is complete, you will stay in the hospital for 1-2 days.
Kidney cysts cannot be prevented because until now experts have not found what the exact cause is.
However, there are some things you need to pay attention to when experiencing this condition, especially during the recovery process.
- Regular check-ups per year (medical check-up) so that kidney cysts can be detected more quickly.
- Regular exercise to maintain kidney health in general.
- Consumption of foods with balanced nutrition, such as following a diet low in fat and salt.
- Manage stress well with yoga or meditation so it doesn’t trigger other signs and symptoms.
If you have any questions, please consult your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.