Splenic Cyst

Posted by stew201 @stew201, Jul 15, 2011

After having a CT scan with contrast for a post op mass, an unrelated 11cm cyst was found incidentally on my spleen. This finding has perplexed my primary physician and the hematologist that I was going to be referred to (I have an HMO). I am awaiting bloodwork to determine if the cyst is parasitic, but beyond that, I’m just told to take a wait and see approach if it’s not parasitic. Does anyone have any experience with a splenic cyst? Isn’t a mass that large on such a small organ dangerous?

Hello @aj25,

I am sorry to hear of this uncomfortable pain that you mention. It is frustrating to have any chronic pain and not to understand the origin of it.

Since this pain has been with you for a while, I'm wondering what type of tests you have had to discover the source. For example, have you had a CT of the abdomen? Also, what do your doctors say about this pain?

Here is an article from Mayo Clinic's website regarding the many causes of abdominal pain. Cysts/abscesses in the spleen are one of those listed. Please read the article and see if you gain more understanding.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/abdominal-pain/basics/causes/sym-20050728
You also say that "I have and do suffer from internal cyst's having had a few surgeries to remove some." If you are comfortable sharing more about this, where have these cysts been located?

Please know that it is always a patient's right to get a second opinion on any problem that does not resolve itself. Have you thought about obtaining a second opinion?

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Hi Teresa, I had an endoscopy for my Hiatus hernia and a scan to check if I had Gallstones, but I have not been to see about this feeling under my ribcage and pain in my shoulder, I just always thought it was something to do with the hiatus hernia, but it is still there a year after my op…the operations I have had to remove cyst's were from the back of my neck near at the base of my scull (only small) one from my left breast, and I currently have one on my kidney (very small) which was found when I had a scan prior to my operation last year.

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@aj25

Hi Teresa, I had an endoscopy for my Hiatus hernia and a scan to check if I had Gallstones, but I have not been to see about this feeling under my ribcage and pain in my shoulder, I just always thought it was something to do with the hiatus hernia, but it is still there a year after my op…the operations I have had to remove cyst's were from the back of my neck near at the base of my scull (only small) one from my left breast, and I currently have one on my kidney (very small) which was found when I had a scan prior to my operation last year.

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I appreciate the additional information,@aj25. It might be time to talk with your doctor about this pain under your ribcage/shoulder. You might consider requesting an abdominal CT to start with and see if that reveals anything and then go from there. Many on Connect have had hard to diagnose problems and it often takes persistence with the medical community and often 2nd and 3rd opinions to get an answer.

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Thank you Teresa, I shall book an appointment 🙂

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@aj25

Thank you Teresa, I shall book an appointment 🙂

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That is good to hear, @aj25.

In order to prepare for the appointment, you might make a list of all your symptoms, how frequently they occur, and anything else that might help the doctor pinpoint the problem.

Will you post again after your appointment?

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@aj25

Hi Teresa, I had an endoscopy for my Hiatus hernia and a scan to check if I had Gallstones, but I have not been to see about this feeling under my ribcage and pain in my shoulder, I just always thought it was something to do with the hiatus hernia, but it is still there a year after my op…the operations I have had to remove cyst's were from the back of my neck near at the base of my scull (only small) one from my left breast, and I currently have one on my kidney (very small) which was found when I had a scan prior to my operation last year.

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Well an endoscopy procedure will not show a splenic cyst. Only an ultrasound or CT scan. I have had a 10 cm splenic cyst that is calicified and under my left rib cage. Per most articles and some research, it reccomends splenic removal. However, I have seen 3 different doctors who said. Well it's been stable so wait and watch. I also have a hiatal hernia but it never had given me shoulder pain. If anything I get pain just under my sternum. Advocate for yourself. I do not think a CT of the abdomen is out of the question. They can at least look at the gallbladder, pancreases, spleen and liver. Just be persistent.

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@michellern

Well an endoscopy procedure will not show a splenic cyst. Only an ultrasound or CT scan. I have had a 10 cm splenic cyst that is calicified and under my left rib cage. Per most articles and some research, it reccomends splenic removal. However, I have seen 3 different doctors who said. Well it's been stable so wait and watch. I also have a hiatal hernia but it never had given me shoulder pain. If anything I get pain just under my sternum. Advocate for yourself. I do not think a CT of the abdomen is out of the question. They can at least look at the gallbladder, pancreases, spleen and liver. Just be persistent.

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Hi Michelle, thank you for your reply, I have had surgery for the hiatus hernia but I still have this feeling under my left rib age that I can feel something there , like a tennis ball,I cannot feel it with my hand it’s a feeling inside especially when I sit down … do you feel anything like this?. Thanks Mandy

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@aj25

Hi Michelle, thank you for your reply, I have had surgery for the hiatus hernia but I still have this feeling under my left rib age that I can feel something there , like a tennis ball,I cannot feel it with my hand it’s a feeling inside especially when I sit down … do you feel anything like this?. Thanks Mandy

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Hello @aj25,

I was wondering if you have been able to schedule an appointment yet with your doctor to discuss this discomfort.

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@aj25

Hi Michelle, thank you for your reply, I have had surgery for the hiatus hernia but I still have this feeling under my left rib age that I can feel something there , like a tennis ball,I cannot feel it with my hand it’s a feeling inside especially when I sit down … do you feel anything like this?. Thanks Mandy

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Yes and I can actually feel it when I'm a little skinnier. It is really worth getting it checked out. Mine has caused my left lower lung to be slightly collapsed. This doesn't cause any problems though. What I do notice, is if I get sick with something and my white count is up. Then it gives me pain under the left rib cage. It is always a dull pain but if I get sick then it gets worse. You need to get into see your doc and get a CT. Probably difficult right now with COVID but I again would be persistent.

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@michellern

Yes and I can actually feel it when I'm a little skinnier. It is really worth getting it checked out. Mine has caused my left lower lung to be slightly collapsed. This doesn't cause any problems though. What I do notice, is if I get sick with something and my white count is up. Then it gives me pain under the left rib cage. It is always a dull pain but if I get sick then it gets worse. You need to get into see your doc and get a CT. Probably difficult right now with COVID but I again would be persistent.

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That’s exactly how I feel and do get a dull ache sometimes … and even more so when I lose a little weight … I shall defiantly go back to the doctors once this COVID-19 has cleared … Thank you for your help .. Stay safe

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I am a 26 year old female who is very active and healthy, the only underlying condition I have is Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency. I was exhibiting random spouts of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting after eating which is why I was referred to receive the ultrasound of the abdomen and they stumbled upon the cyst. Their findings are such, "Redemonstrated is an anechoic lobulated cystic lesion located at the peripheral anterior aspect of the spleen with a few thin internal
septations and no internal vascularity. The cyst now measures 30 x 22 x 19 mm and is not significantly changed in size from the prior exam performed 3 months ago, previously measuring 31 x 22 x 21 mm at that time." They are saying that it is not related to the pain and nausea I was experiencing, but I am now concerned about this, I am supposed to get it looked at every year to make sure that it is not growing. Any other thoughts on this?

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@hs314

I am a 26 year old female who is very active and healthy, the only underlying condition I have is Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency. I was exhibiting random spouts of abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting after eating which is why I was referred to receive the ultrasound of the abdomen and they stumbled upon the cyst. Their findings are such, "Redemonstrated is an anechoic lobulated cystic lesion located at the peripheral anterior aspect of the spleen with a few thin internal
septations and no internal vascularity. The cyst now measures 30 x 22 x 19 mm and is not significantly changed in size from the prior exam performed 3 months ago, previously measuring 31 x 22 x 21 mm at that time." They are saying that it is not related to the pain and nausea I was experiencing, but I am now concerned about this, I am supposed to get it looked at every year to make sure that it is not growing. Any other thoughts on this?

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Hi there, thanks for sharing your story. I also have a cyst (well it was 2 and now is 1 apparently). I don’t have the same symptoms as you, but do have pain relating to eating larger meals and sometimes pain for no apparent reason. I also have IBS. The thing I’ve learned from this process so far is that a lot of doctors do not have experience with this as only about 1000 cases have been reported in medical literature (although that number is steadily climbing with increased imaging), so I got a variety of opinions ranging from “it’s normal, just ignore it” to “yes we could remove it surgically, but I suggest monitoring it”. There is also no spleen specialty, so it’s difficult to know who to be referred to. Basically my opinion is if you can live with it, it’s better than not having a spleen. But do watch it because if it grows it can cause more problems and could rupture, which can be fatal. But yours seems small right now, so don’t worry about that. But another possibility is that it’s interfering with the pancreas. So I’d ask your doctor about if/how your pancreas is affected and run bloodwork if they haven’t already. Just don’t be deterred but the “don’t worry about it” attitude if you are convinced it’s related. Explore all possibilities and don’t give up! I suggest joining the Facebook “No spleen” group. I’ve learned a lot there! My other suggestion is to perhaps pursue “alternative” therapies (Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, etc.) while also pursuing traditional Western ones. You never know!

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