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Liver cysts

Hepatic cysts

An abnormal fluid-filled sac in your liver

About

A liver cyst is a pocket of fluid or semi-solid material that can occur for a variety of reasons. It may be linked to a chronic cause of liver disease, a parasite infection, or grow for no clear reason. Many are present at birth (congenital) including multiple (polycystic) cysts that are linked to polycystic liver disease (PLD).

Need to know

  • Symptoms of liver cysts icon plus

    Liver cysts may present no symptoms for many years. That's because many types of liver cysts are slow to grow and surround themselves with a layer of tissue that stops them from starting an inflammatory reaction or infection in the liver.

    These cysts will grow, however, and may start to increase pressure inside the liver. This may lead to pain on the right side of the ribs, high temperature or feeling discomfort when taking a breath. Should the cyst rupture or leak, you may well experience one or more of the following:

    • fever or high temperatures
    • nausea
    • weight loss
    • jaundice, once infection reaches an advanced stage
    • surgery
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    For a confirmed diagnosis of liver cysts, your consultant will usually recommend a CT and/or MRI scan. Blood tests are usually needed to look for rare causes of liver cysts such as Hydatid disease and cystadenoma.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    Treatment of cysts will depend on the type of cysts you have. If they're growing quickly, they may be 'deroofed’, where the top of the cyst is removed. Usually this is carried out as a laparoscopic procedure, through small cuts in the abdomen using precision instruments to allow the trapped fluid to drain. A course of antibiotics is likely as well.
Consultant with patient

Our consultants

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • facility-pgh-hero-579x579

    The Princess Grace Hospital

    42-52 Nottingham Place

    London W1U 5NY

    Appointments 020 3131 7216
    Enquiries 020 3130 6833

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • facility-HSC-flag-hero-582x582

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

  • The Lister Hospital Facility

    The Lister Hospital

    Chelsea Bridge Road

    London

    SW1W 8RH

    Appointments 020 7811 4000
    Enquiries 020 3131 4978

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Childrens enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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