Sometimes, cysts can get formed in the liver and lead to polycystic liver disease. It can look like a cluster of grapes when the cysts become too large.
They can grow in any part of the liver and increase in number as the disease progresses. It can cause health complications and interfere with the normal functioning of the liver.
Polycystic Liver Disease – Symptoms And Causes
Most people suffering from this condition do not show many symptoms, and they can lead a normal life without many complications. It is not a common condition, and it is a rare condition.
When the cysts become too large, some symptoms may appear.
- One of the most common symptoms of this condition is a pain in the abdominal region that can be due to various reasons. Sometimes, the cyst can get infected, and this can cause a lot of pain in the abdominal region. Other than that, any sort of bleeding in the cysts can also be painful.
- In other cases, the normal functioning of the liver can get affected, and infection or bleeding in the cyst can lead to other complications in the abdominal region. The bile duct can get obstructed, and this affects your health in many ways.
- Some people may also develop jaundice that results in yellowing of the eyes and skin due to this condition.
- Apart from pain in the abdominal region, you may also notice bloating and swelling of the stomach. This can also lead to a feeling of fullness even when you have not eaten food.
- It can also cause shortness of breath in some cases when this starts affecting the other organ.
Diagnosis of polycystic liver disease
It is not an easy task to diagnose this condition in most cases, as the symptoms are usually not visible in the early stages.
However, when you can notice symptoms, your doctor may suggest some tests to confirm the severity of the problem.
- In many cases, problems associated with the kidney can lead to this condition, and most people know about this condition when they get diagnosed for kidney problems. This disease is related to polycystic kidney disease that affects the normal working of kidneys.
- Your doctor may perform an ultrasound test to look into the liver and identify cysts. There are many other causes for developing cysts in the liver, and one among them is polycystic liver disease.
- In this regard, even after detecting some cysts in your liver, your doctor may continue the diagnosis and also look into your family history and other factors like your age and overall health condition.
- People having a family history of this condition may need special attention as such people are more likely to develop this condition. If you have more than a few cysts and you are under the age of 40, your doctor may diagnose this condition as polycystic liver disease.
- If you have more than 20 cysts, it can be easily confirmed that you are having this condition even when you have no family history of this condition.
The treatment process for polycystic liver disease
The good thing with this condition is that most cysts do not need any treatment unless they are causing too much pain and other problems.
If you are facing mild discomfort, regular medication to ease the pain will be enough to treat this condition.
On the other hand, when the symptoms are severe, and the cysts are in large numbers, suitable methods of treatment will be deployed depending on the location and size of the cysts.
- When the cyst has become infected, it can block the bile duct and lead to several complications. In this situation, draining the cyst is recommended, and your doctor may use a needle to drain the fluid using an ultrasound or CT imaging equipment.
- This can offer temporary relief from the problem, and the cysts may again get filled up with fluid in due course of time. To avoid this, your doctor may destroy the cyst wall and prevent it from accumulating fluid in the future.
- When the number of cysts on the liver increase too much and they become very large on the bottom side of the liver, in such case doctor may ask you to have a surgery for the removal of cysts wall that is often known as cyst fenestration.
- During this condition, the cysts can get formed in different locations of the liver. However, when most of the cysts are in one particular region, it is easier to remove them through surgery. In this case, your doctor may perform surgery to remove the affected part of the liver.
- This method will not work when the cysts are spread over a large area, as it is not a viable option to operate on each cyst in the liver.
- In extreme cases, when your liver is damaged beyond a point, your doctor may suggest going for a complete liver transplant that will help you to overcome the problem in the long run. However, this is a rare condition, and not many people require liver transplant when they are suffering from polycystic liver disease.
There are no known methods to prevent this condition in the long run.
If you have been diagnosed with this condition, you can go for regular medical checkups to know about the severity of this condition.
Most people do not even need any treatment, and they can lead a normal life without any problems.
Only when you have severe pain in the abdominal region or when this starts affecting other organs of the body you will need to go for surgery.
As the condition itself is very rare, the chances of complications are also rare. You need not worry too much about this condition as most people are able to live comfortably with this condition.
The need for liver transplant and surgery is also not common, and this is usually done in extreme cases when the pain is too much for the patients.