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Liver cyst - anyone with experience? Worried sick.

(129 Posts)
baw70 Wed 10-Sep-14 10:55:17

I had an ultrasound scan on Saturday to look for gallstones, but the sonographer wouldn't say anything other than that she couldn't find any stones. Cue much worrying and a thread on here where some lovely people reassured me. Phone call yesterday from the doctor, results show a 2cm cyst on my liver, I need to go for a CT scan. He didn't give much information, just that he couldn't tell me anything without a scan, which I should hear about in the next week. I am in a complete mess. I'm an anxious person anyway, but this has sent my anxiety rocketing. I understand the results coming quickly, as my Health Trust has employed people from other areas to work weekends, to clear a back log, so I suppose they write the reports immediately and send them to the surgeries, as they go back to their usual hospitals after the weekend. I am worried that they seem to want the CT scan so quickly and have now convinced myself that it must be a secondary cancer, even though I've not been unwell, other than the occasional stomach/highup abdominal pain (every 4/5 months) that led to the gall bladder scan. I would be so grateful for any information as my imagination is running riot. TIA.

Le1890 Wed 10-Sep-14 16:49:20


I could have written this post exactly 4 years ago. Identical.

I too went for a scan for gallstones and was told they could see something on my liver but weren't sure what it was and that I needed an MRI scan.

It turned out to be a benign cyst on my liver. The consultant said it's just one of these things that people never know about and it's only been Becuase you have had the scan for gallstones. An incidental finding.

I know it's easy for me to say but it's likely nothing to worry about x

baw70 Wed 10-Sep-14 17:32:06

Thank you so much for replying Le1890. It has helped to hear that someone else had the same thing. I've been fit for nothing these last few days. Glad to hear that there was no cause for concern in your case and desperately hoping the same will be true for me. Thanks again x

icanhaveadarksideifyouwantmeto Wed 10-Sep-14 17:53:43

I have growths on my liver too, its known as Focular Nodular Hyperplasia. they fluctuate in size and density.

My Dr keeps an eye on them but Ive known I've had them for 10 years and they have never affected me, other than scaring my pants off!

if you want to PM me i'm happy to hold your hand through all this becuase i know how worrying it can be?

which part of the country are you in? Ive seen specialists in Southampton and Liverpool.

baw70 Wed 10-Sep-14 18:28:53

Thanks icanhaveadarksideifyouwantmeto, that's really kind of you. I'm in Wales, which appears to be known for it's long waiting times, hence my worry that they seem to want to fast track me. I have Googled exhaustively and everything seems to say that ultrasound is enough to identify a simple or non benign growth, so why are they sending me for a CT scan? I know that liver cysts are quite common and had they just said 'Oh yes, 2cm cyst on liver, quite common' I could have coped. It's just this further scan that makes me think they saw something more worrying.

Le1890 Wed 10-Sep-14 20:37:23

I was fast tracked too. Had my MRI within 2 weeks. Was marked as urgent. It's just what they do.

I know it's easier said than done but you need to stop reading up on things. At the end of the day none of these cases is you. I scared myself I into panic attack after panic attack as I was reading all this stuff I had not concept about.

I took diazepam to tide me over as best as poss. I never ate for those weeks I was so sick with fear. But it was fine. My cyst was 1.4cm. I also have a haemangioma On my liver too which is apparently very common also.x

moggiek Wed 10-Sep-14 21:01:09

They're very common. I have lots of them smile

Mini05 Wed 10-Sep-14 21:36:06

This is so weird!

I went for an x ray couple weeks ago re back ache, I got a call from surgery to ask to make an appointment to see doctor!!!! Anxiety! Omg what's wrong
So I rang back and receptionist told me they have made an appointment for me for ultra sound as they think they spotted maybe Gallstones!

I'm there tomorrow!! So just reading through this now has maybe stopped me google if mine comes back liver cyst, and fearing myself to death.

So it seems the ultra scan person doesn't tell you anything???? Hope she/he does as I'm not good at waiting.

baw70 Wed 10-Sep-14 22:27:05

You're absolutely right Le1980, I should never have looked it up, I'm such a fool. I feel on the verge of panic all the time, horrible feeling and just filling up at random moments - not great in the middle of a meeting sad Thank you again for your reassurance and to moggiek.
Mini05 I think it depends on who does your scan, as to if they tell you anything there and then. Mine only said there were no gallstones as I told her that I'd guessed that much. When I asked for further information, she said she was not allowed to tell me and just kept repeating that. Other people I've asked have been told at the time, but many like me had to wait for the report to reach their doctor. DON'T Google though! Listen to Le1980 , there's a lot of info out there, but, and I quote her wise words "none of these cases is you". You don't want to end up in a mess like me!

LuluJakey1 Thu 11-Sep-14 23:01:39

Are you overweight? I ask because ultrasounds are often useless for proper diagnosis if you are overweight. I had gallstones- turned out they were small like gravel and they could not see them on ultrasound. Ended up having an MRI to see my pancreas clearly.
I lost 3st on a diet from embarrassment. grin

skitter Thu 11-Sep-14 23:09:38

I had an ultrasound for gallstones and.l they found 2 liver cysts. They said they're very common and are usually nothing to worry about.

baw70 Fri 12-Sep-14 00:10:20

Yes, I'm a bit more padded than I'd like to be sad, I could definitely do with losing a couple of stone. Had they told me at the ultrasound that I had a liver cyst, it would have been ok. It's just all this investigative stuff after that's really worrying - if she could see it was a cyst, why have I got to go for a CT scan. I've convinced myself that she was a bit shifty when she said she couldn't tell me anything and my doctor was really non committal on the phone, which is fair enough I'm sure he didn't want to make any guarantees.

LuluJakey1 Fri 12-Sep-14 07:11:58

A. CT scan is just really like having a better camera- it is so they can get a clearer picture.

Try not to worry. They have used the word 'cyst' which is not alarming at all.
Liver cysts are really common. Often people have more than one and they are usually nothing to worry about. They just want a better image to see that.

FrontForward Fri 12-Sep-14 07:47:49

Liver cysts are very common. They are a completely different thing to focal modular hyperplasia so don't google that.

V.O.M.I.T. is a well known acronym amongst radiologists.. Victims Of Medical Imaging Technology

It basically means that much anxiety is caused by imaging normal body bits that show slight variations from the norm. It's something people don't realise when they ask for a scan to reassure. Often it just sets up a further cycle of anxiety which feeds the belief that imaging is a good thing's often not!

Vast majority of liver cysts are benign. They do have to do further scans however.

Le1890 Fri 12-Sep-14 09:21:30

Definitely agree Frontforward. I have been told this by consultants and this is what happened to me.

Also my gran who is 80 discovered she was anemic and was sent for an endoscopy and colonoscopy whichc were both clear. She then was sent for a CT scan also clear on the anemia front and the diagnosis was it's just her age. The CT did pick up what appeared to be a stone in her bladder so she was scheduled for surgery to remove it. When the surgeon opened her up they realised it was not a stone but duct tape that had been used to tape up a perforation they had caused over 20 years ago in her kidney whilst performing a hystorectomy!!!! So she was stitched back up and sent home! All this stemmed from her having been anemic and this went on for months of testing.

Incidentally at the time of the hysterectomy she was not informed that they had perforated her kidney! The kidney is now dead Becuase of it although she's been functioning fine on the one kidney for the 20plus years. Bit off topic sorry.

But this is just what happens when we go for specialist test. Especially ones like scans as they are so good these days they pick up everything. The ct scan is just to give them a better look. In my case was the MRI scan.x

baw70 Fri 12-Sep-14 10:19:51

You're right FastForward, I wish I'd never gone for the ultra sound now. I'm neurotic enough as it is and this has just completely tipped me over the edge. I like the acronym, very fitting!

What a palaver for your poor Gran Le1980, glad she's ok though.

Still no appointment for the CT. I don't know if this is a good or a bad thing. Thanks for the reassurance LuluJakey1, it all helps x

baw70 Sat 13-Sep-14 09:24:36

My appointment is through for next Thursday. They've sent a small bottle of Gastrografin that I have to take to make the bowel easier to scan. I didn't know they were scanning my bowel, I thought it was only my liver. That's it now, I can't talk myself down any more. Why would my doctor not have mentioned this, is it because he suspects bad news and wants to wait to make certain?

LuluJakey1 Sat 13-Sep-14 11:47:44

They are probably looking at your bowel for signs of inflammation. Many liver cysts are caused by micro bacteria that have originated in the bowel- where they also often cause inflammation of mucosal membranes. They probably want to get a look and see if they can detect this to help them decide if that is what may have caused the cyst.

I know I would be doing the same as you and be in a complete state but looking in from the outside it is easy to say try and stay calm and don't let yourself worry. Cysts are benign in more than 95% of cases. Please try not to overthink it all- it isn't helping you at all. flowers

LuluJakey1 Sat 13-Sep-14 12:03:51

Just thought also, is the letter you have had not simply a letter sent to anyone having an abdo CT that requires use of a contrast? Contrasts are often used to look at gall bladder, liver, kidneys etc and bowel- abdominal organs. Once taken, it affects all of them as it passes through.

Honestly, it could just be that also, the word bowel could just be misleading. The letter will have been sent by a technician, not a consultant or even a Dr.
I bet everyone having an abdo CT that requires a contrast, has the same letter.

baw70 Sat 13-Sep-14 12:41:37

It could be a standard letter I suppose, I don't know. It's really kind of you to take the time to try and reassure me LuluJakey1, it does help. I've overthought it so much, that in my mind it can only be the worst news possible. I suffer from anxiety a lot of the time and I can't seem to change, however hard I try, but the knowledge that rubbish stuff can happen to anyone is always there. Well done by the way, on losing 3 stone. Very impressive! I can manage around half a stone, then give up.

dennant Sat 13-Sep-14 13:36:38

Hello, I have two cysts as well, last time they were checked (last summer) they were 5.5cm and 6cm. They are focal nodule hyperplasia, and totally benign and nothing to worry about. I also had high up abdominal pain, a really sharp pain that was worse when contracting my abs, getting in and out of the car for example.
The consultant told me that many people go their whole lives with them and don't even know they are there. They are often only picked up when people have scans for other things (mine was a kidney infection.)
One thing they did tell me was that there is a possible connection to the growth bring accelerated by the hormone progesterone. They advised me to come off the pill and use hormone free contraception just in case. I think this is still a fledgling theory though.

LuluJakey1 Wed 17-Sep-14 21:41:02

Good luck tomorrow! Let us know how you get on. flowers

Le1890 Thu 18-Sep-14 00:21:25

Thinking about your for tomorrow xx

baw70 Sun 21-Sep-14 21:15:35

Thanks for the good luck messages, they're much appreciated. Scan was ok, but I had to wait a while to go in and during the wait I almost talked myself out of it. Had I not been wearing a hospital gown, with my bum hanging out, I may well have run off. Drank the horrible stuff before going, then had the injection of stuff too and now it's just a waiting game.

Le1890 Mon 22-Sep-14 09:57:31

Aw glad the scan is over with for you.

The thought of you doing a runner with your bum hanging out did make me smile!
Did they say how long till results?x

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