Kidney Cysts FAQ

What are kidney cysts?

Kidney cysts are abnormal pouches containing fluid. The simple cyst is the most common form of kidney cyst. Although its cause is not fully understood, we do know that the simple cyst is not an inherited condition. Cysts may be single or multiple and develop on small tubes in the kidneys.

What are the effects of kidney cysts?

Most often, kidney cysts do not cause symptoms or harm the kidney. In some cases, however, pain can occur when cysts enlarge and press on other organs. Sometimes cysts become infected or suddenly start to bleed. Less often, the cysts impair kidney function. Cysts can also cause high blood pressure.

How are kidney cysts diagnosed?

Kidney cysts are found by performing tests, such as tomography and ultrasonography of the kidneys.

What is the treatment for kidney cysts?

When the most common kind of simple cysts (Bosniak I) are found and there are no complications, no treatment and no further testing is needed. In the rare cases where this kind of cyst causes symptoms, then drainage of the cyst or surgery may be needed. Some cysts (Bosniak II) have characteristics that are slightly different than the simple cyst. These cysts usually require no treatment, but periodically your doctor may want to repeat tests to be sure the cyst does not change over time. Uncommon types of cysts, (Bosniak III or IV) can be worrisime for a tumor, and may require removal.