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Liver Lesions

These can include pain in the abdominal area or a sense of pressure and swelling. If a cyst becomes a problem, it can be drained using a laparoscopic surgical procedure with minimal risk and a short hospital stay.

Polycystic Liver Disease

Polycystic liver disease (PLD) is a special case of the cyst. This is actually not a disease properly so called, but a complication of another disease, polycystic kidney disease (PKD). PKD is a genetic anomaly which causes the kidneys to develop multiple cysts all over their surface, so that it appears to be more cyst than kidney. The same condition can spread to other organs including the liver. A liver afflicted with PLD can be swollen and can produce symptoms including moderate to severe abdominal pain and abdominal tenderness and swelling. PLD does not cause liver failure (unlike the primary manifestation of kidney cysts, which does cause renal failure), so there is no threat to life from this condition, but the detriment to quality of life can be severe.


A benign tumor called a hemangioma can develop on the liver from a swelling and tangling of blood vessels. A hemangioma appears as a lumpy mass and can be varied in sizes. Normally, hemangioma is not a dangerous condition and does not require treatment. Occasionally, a hemangioma can become large enough to interfere with hepatic function or produce complications such as internal bleeding and require treatment. Treatment for hemangioma is normally surgical either to remove the tumor itself or to tie off its blood supply and cause it to shrink.

Liver Cancer

A lesion may be a simple cyst or a benign tumor, but it can also be a cancerous growth. This can either be primary liver cancer or cancer that starts somewhere else in the body and spreads to the liver. In the early stages, primary liver cancer produces no symptoms, making it somewhat difficult to detect. Most of the time, liver cancer, like other liver lesions, is discovered in the course of medical imaging tests done for some other reason. A diagnosis of liver cancer may be confirmed after the mass is discovered through use of a liver biopsy, in which a sample of liver tissue is taken and examined under a microscope and/or subjected to various other tests.

Liver cancer always requires treatment. What treatment to use depends on the progress of the disease, and also on whether it is primary or secondary cancer of the liver. If the cancer began elsewhere in the body, it has already metastasized (or it would not be present in the liver) and cannot be treated surgically, but must be approached through chemotherapy. A primary liver cancer that is detected early can often be surgically removed along with part of the liver itself; because the liver regenerates very quickly, this does no permanent damage to the organ.

A liver lesion is any sort of abnormal growth or pocket on the organ. A lesion can represent anything from a simple cyst to a benign tumor to a cancer. It can be something of no medical concern, or it can be a condition that threatens life and health and requires aggressive treatment. Because the liver is such an important organ, any abnormalities in it including lesions calls for scrutiny, further diagnosis, and sometimes treatment.


Cysts are not normally dangerous. A cyst is a fluid-filled pocket of tissue, usually with thin walls and usually forming on the surface of the organ. In most cases, cysts produce no symptoms and do not require treatment. Occasionally, due to the size of the cyst or some other factor such as bleeding into the cyst, one will produce symptoms.


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Liver Lesions