A renal cyst, or kidney cyst, is a fluid-filled sac that develops in one or both kidneys. These sacs contain a watery fluid and usually have a round or oval shape. Typically benign (noncancerous), renal cysts rarely cause problems. In fact, many people may go through their entire lives without ever knowing that they have a renal cyst. If you suspect you have a kidney cyst, look into treatment options as soon as possible.
If you have a small kidney cysts that isn’t causing you any problems, your physician will generally leave it alone, though she may follow up with additional scans in six to 12 months. But if you experience symptoms of a renal cortical cyst, your physician will probably send you to a urologist, who specialises in diagnosing and treating kidney problems. Your urologist will determine whether your renal cysts have grown randomly, or whether they have resulted from polycystic kidney disease (PKD)—an inherited disease the targets the kidneys and causes the growth of kidney cysts. Small or few renal cysts will generally not harm you, but multiple or large cysts can cause pain, infection and damage to the kidneys. If your urologist suspects PKD, schedule biannual scans to check for the presence of cysts in your kidneys. A physician can drain and permanently harden small renal cortical cysts by inserting a needle directly into them. The process removes fluid and replaces it with alcohol, which causes the tissue that makes up the cyst to harden. Larger cysts may require surgical removal. Most surgeons prefer laparoscopic surgery, which involves smaller incisions, a shorter hospital stay and a faster recovery. During the surgery, your surgeon will drain the cyst of fluid and then remove or burn away its outer layer of tissue.