Kidney cysts are round pouches of fluid that form in the kidneys. Kidney cysts can be associated with serious disorders that can impair kidney function. But more commonly, kidney cysts are a type called simple kidney cysts — noncancerous cysts that rarely cause complications.
It's not clear what causes simple kidney cysts. Simple kidney cysts typically occur as one cyst on the surface of a kidney. But simple kidney cysts can occur as multiple cysts affecting one or both kidneys.
Simple kidney cysts are often detected during an imaging test being done for another condition. Simple kidney cysts that don't cause signs or symptoms usually don't require treatment.
Kidney cross section
All your blood flows through your kidneys, which are the key organs in the complex system that removes excess fluid and waste material from the blood. Blood that flows into your kidneys is diffused ...
Simple kidney cysts typically don't cause signs or symptoms. If a simple kidney cyst grows large enough, kidney cyst symptoms may include:
When to see a doctor
The risk of simple kidney cysts increases as you get older, though they can occur at any age.
Kidney cysts can occasionally cause complications, including:
Preparing for your appointment
If a simple kidney cyst was discovered during an imaging test for another disease or condition, you may be worried about what it means for your health. At your next appointment, be prepared with a list of questions for your doctor. Discussing simple kidney cysts with your doctor may help put your mind at ease and help you feel more in control of your condition.
Here are some questions that might help facilitate a discussion with your doctor:
Tests and diagnosis
Tests and procedures used to diagnose simple kidney cysts include:
Treatments and drugs
Treatment may not be necessary
Treatments for kidney cysts that cause signs and symptoms
Last Updated: 2010-05-15
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