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Date of last update: 8/13/2017.

Forum Name: Urology Topics

Question: Kidney Cyst

 mtarallo - Thu Jul 07, 2005 10:36 am

I'm trying to find information to assist my 81 year old father diagnosed with a kidney cyst. He is EXTREMELY healthy with minimal previous health problems. Most recent was a diagnosis of diverticulitus that lead to a couple days in hospital and transfuasion.

Prior to his hospital stay he had a kidney scan which revealed a cyst. He has since gone to the Moffit Cancer center here in Tampa and was told he should have a minimum of a laperoscopy to identify if the cyst is cancerous. The Dr. prefered to do a full operation to get to the kidney, but said a laperoscopy could be done delicately.

My question is:
Is this the best thing to do to identify if cancer is present?

Is prolonged dehydration (he doesn't drink much and golfs in the heat) a catalyst for these cysts?

What are the option?

Thanks so much for your insights.
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:41 pm

I am assuming that you understood your father’s doctor correctly and that there is no suspicion of a malignant growth.

A renal cyst is a small pocket of fluid in the kidney. The most common form of renal cysts is known as a simple cyst. The cause is unknown and often, they disappear on their own.

Usually, renal cysts do not cause symptoms or harm the kidney. Sometimes however, they can cause pain, become enlarged, press on other organs, or become infected. Renal cysts are detected by a renal ultrasound or CAT scan of the kidneys.

When simple cysts are found and there is no pain or complications, no treatment is needed. If this is a simple cyst that does not affect your father’s health in any way, it is unnecessary to subject him to an invasive procedure. Renal ultrasounds and CAT scans are usually diagnostic for renal cysts. Seek another opinion from a nephrologist, who is a specialist in kidney diseases.

Dr Anthony Solomon
Consultant Physician, Tropical & Genitourinary Medicine
 mtarallo - Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:56 pm

Thank you so much for your reply.

My confusion is that the Doctor has not told us that it is a Renal Cyst. I have read everything you wrote, but doctors continue to tell him that the only way they will know anything is if they operate to determine if it is cancer.

He has had ultrasounds and has only been told he has a cyst. Would a CAT scan show something different? Can they tell if it is Renal?

Thanks again I am so appreciate fo ryour information.
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Fri Jul 08, 2005 4:28 am

It appears that you are confused with the terminologies. A renal cyst is synonymous with a kidney cyst. The adjective "renal" denotes the kidney.

A renal ultrasound is useful in determining renal size and contour, and defining the size, location and consistency of any renal mass whether it is solid or cystic. A CT scan is particularly useful if there is any doubt after ultrasound studies.

Ask your father's doctor for a better explanation of his condition and if you are not satisfied, seek the opinion of a nephrologist.

Dr Anthony Solomon
 mtarallo - Fri Jul 08, 2005 7:04 am

Thank you again Doctor for replying.

I have finally received a report and now have more information that the cyst has been categorized as "2.3 x 1.6cm rounded mass along the anterior aspect of the right mid renal pole. It is exophytic and was seen on the CT and not the sonogram. Considerations include a hemorrhagic or proteinaceous cyst, or possibly a solid mass."

Our thoughts are to do a laporoscopy to try and identify if it is cancerous and then full operation if it is. Would this be a fair course of action? We seem comfortable with the Doctor, but I know my Dad is scared and reluctant, would you there be a chance an operation is not necessary?

Thank you again for helping calm us through better knowledge.
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Fri Jul 08, 2005 12:44 pm

It seems reasonable and the correct course of action to further investigate a renal mass not identified on ultrasound but detected by CT scan. The best advice should be obtained from a nephrologist or urologist or both.

Dr Anthony Solomon
 mtarallo - Fri Jul 08, 2005 1:37 pm

Thanks so much for your continued replies.

He is in the process now of finding a Nrephrologist. The couple he called are not taking appointments till end of August. What is your opinion on this length of time, is there a high risk for cancer and its better to go with the option given by the Urologist? He would like to see the Nephrologist and see if there is an option to drain?

Thanks again.
 Dr. Anthony Solomon - Sun Jul 10, 2005 5:03 am

A nephrologist is more specialised than a urologist for kidney disorders and two opinions are better than one where surgery is involved. You have said that your father is extremely well but for the detection of a renal mass on CT scan. If the urologist who is presently treating him decides that it is urgent for him to have a laparascopy, you must follow that advice in the absence of an opinion from a nephrologist.

Dr Anthony Solomon

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