Hepatic Cyst Definition

Hepatic Cyst – a noncancerous growth, often fluid-filled, that develops in the liver. Most simple hepatic cysts cause no symptoms; they become apparent during diagnostic procedures, such as abdominal ultrasound, done for other reasons. When there are no symptoms, no treatment is necessary beyond regular monitoring (watchful waiting).

A hydatid cyst contains the larvae of the parasite Echinococcus granulosus, acquired through contact with animal feces that contain the parasite’s eggs, which migrate to the liver.

A hydatid cyst grows slowly though can become large enough to hold a liter or more of fluid. Even when hydatid cysts show no symptoms, doctors remove them because they can cause life-threatening complications such as peritonitis or septicemia if they rupture. Removal of a hepatic cyst is nearly always a laparoscopic surgery.

See also MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERYPERCUTANEOUS LIVER BIOPSY.

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