What Is a Kidney Cyst?

Written by narielle living
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What Is a Kidney Cyst?
Kidney cysts are common for older people. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of katherine raz)

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, simple kidney cysts are a common condition as people age. This condition is present in almost 30 percent of the people over age 70.

Kidney Cyst

A simple kidney cyst is a closed pouch containing fluid that forms in the kidneys. These cysts are most often non-cancerous. The kidneys may harbor one or more cysts.


Generally kidney cysts are asymptomatic, and a person does not feel the cyst. However, if the cyst is large enough to press on other organs there may be some pain felt.


Kidney cysts do not generally pose a health risk, and are therefore not treated. If, however, the cyst is causing pain or interfering with organ function it can be removed. This is done by puncturing the cyst with a long needle or laparoscopic surgery.


Kidney cysts are identified through ultrasound or CT scans. Sometimes they are found when doctors are looking for other conditions.

Polycystic Kidney Disease

This is a genetic condition causing clusters of cysts to form around the kidneys or other organs. If someone in your family has this disease seek professional medical advice about your chances of developing this condition.

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