British Liver Trust
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Liver Cysts


I have recently been diagnosed with cysts on my liver, one of which is rather large and

I was shocked to be told by the consultant surgeon that the treatment for it is a left hemilhepatectomy, which is a major operation and I was wondering has anyone else on here has had this done so I could get some knowledge from them as to how they felt and if they are well now.

Kind regards

7 Replies

Hi I have had this done twice. The first I had the whole left side and a portion of the right removed. Then a few years later I had some more of the right removed.

It is a major operation. I had 6 months off work after the first op but only 10 weeks after the second op.

The liver does regrow but if you lose the whole left portion then the right side will just grow to fill the space.

My liver is working fine and I live a completely normal life.

Any more questions just ask and I will be pleased to answer them.


Thank you for your reply, just wondered why you had this operation twice, did your cysts grow back,? Did you feel pain before the op and if so was you pain free after, at the moment I'm not in pain all the time but I have a crushing sensation and it seems to get worse as the day goes on, it's got worse after seeing the consultant, so not sure if that's because now I know it's there, got so many thoughts going through my head.



Did you have cysts in both lobes of the liver?

I was diagnosed about 3years ago but have so far refused a hemihepatectomy on the side that has the worst cysts because I am worried that I will still have the same symptoms as there will still be cysts on the part left behind.

Now that my pain is getting worse I am trying to convince some of the medics to let me try drainage of the cysts. Did you try this before the major surgery?


Thank you for your reply, I’m afraid this is all a bit new for me at the moment, I originally went to my GP in November with what I’d self-diagnosed as acid reflux, which she agreed but wanted me to have an endoscopy (horrible) then that Dr. sent me for a CT scan, then I had a letter saying they’d found cysts on my liver “probably” benign, so had an MRI, then I had a letter saying “nothing nasty, no treatment required” but he would consult with his colleagues at the large hospital in the group, very next day an appointment to see Surgical Consultant, where he told me I had three small cysts but a very large on in the left sections (in the diagram, its section 2,3 and 4) and the treatment would be a left hemihepatectomy, a major operation. I was shocked to tell you the truth and I have another appointment in 5 weeks so I can ask questions, so trying to gleen information. I did ask about draining and he said it was too big and would just fill up again. Originally was getting what I would call discomfort, which I can only describe as my bra feeling too tight (I’m female be the way) but now I’m getting more pain don’t if it just now I know there’s cysts there or what, so any info would be most helpful.


I was originally diagnosed with a benign tumour but after having it removed it was found to be primary liver cancer.

The operation was major but I'm glad I decided to get it done. The recovery was quite long but I eventually bounced back.

I had it done twice due to the Cancer returning a few years later.


thank you so much for your reply, I'm very glad to hear that you are living a normal life now, you have been through a lot, thank you once again - I'm still uncertain what I will do, as I'm fit and healthy and I don't want a major operation (I'm sure no one does) I've got another appointment in 3 weeks time with the surgical consultant, and I've wrote a list of questions.



Hi Miss Polly,

I am new to this site, so thought I was replying to Mama41's comment. But now reading further on I see that she has had a different experience to me and am glad to hear she is recovering well after removing the tumour.

I have been diagnosed with polycystic liver disease after several years of discomfort. I have cysts in both lobes of my liver with 2 or 3 up to 9cm in diameter which I think is pretty huge. I once asked the person doing my ultrasound how many cysts there were, to which she replied - too many to count.

Before my diagnosis, I'd been told a few times that I had some cysts on my liver but they were nothing to worry about. I kept getting excruciating back pain around May each year, which was odd and have been through similar tests to you. The worst pain was when one of my cysts bled, it felt like I was been stabbed repeatedly. My abdomen is very bloated and it can get very uncomfortable and painful. I now manage my condition by taking lots of painkillers every day and I am only able to work part time as I am too exhausted. I am seeing my liver consultant next month to try and get him to change the minds of his colleagues so that I can have the drainage done, as I feel that it's now worth trying as I still don't want major surgery.

I hope your next meeting with the surgical consultant goes well.


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