Renal cysts

Renal cysts are a common finding in ultrasound examinations. These are benign fluid-filled blisters in the kidney that are harmless and do not require treatment, which occur in a large part of the population as they age. Only very large cysts or ones located in unfavourable locations can cause discomfort that makes treatment necessary.

Questions about the diagnosis and treatment of renal cysts

Cysts are fluid-filled blisters that can occur in almost anywhere in the body, including the kidneys. Incidentally, kidney cysts are almost always benign findings that are common as patients increase in age. About one in five patients over the age of 40 has had at least one kidney cyst. The formation mechanism of renal cysts has not yet been clearly identified.

A kidney cyst is very easy to recognise on ultrasound, which is why the examining doctor will usually point it out to you. However, this is not a reason to worry.

A renal cyst is usually harmless. However, if it grows strongly, it can cause discomfort. This normally manifests itself as side or flank pain. Urinary retention can also cause pain, when the cyst obstructs the outflow of urine by putting pressure on the ureter. Discomfort may also be caused by the displacement of adjacent tissues or organs.

In the vast majority of cases, kidney cysts are completely harmless. In rare cases, cysts can degenerate. The ultrasound can discover suspicious signs such as chambers or thickened walls of the cyst. If in doubt, the urologist will order a computer tomography or magnetic resonance examination. Similar to ultrasound, cysts can be divided into categories according to certain criteria (Bosniak classification). In the lowest category, there is no suspicion of malignancy and no need for a check-up. If, on the other hand, there are abnormalities, the cyst should at the least be observed during its course. In nine out of ten cases in the highest stage, a malignant tumour is present, and surgery is urgently recommended.

A regression of the cyst should not be expected. In the best case, a cyst remains its size, but it can also grow.

Only rarely do renal cysts need to be treated. Treatment is surgical. In principle, two methods are used. The cyst can either be punctured or completely removed, which is the more sustainable solution.

During the puncture, the cyst is first drained with a thin catheter. A sclerosing medication should then also be injected over a few days. Nevertheless, the cyst often grows again after this procedure.

The complete removal of the cyst can be performed openly or by using the keyhole technique. All surgical procedures for cyst removal are offered at Goldstadt Private Clinic. The robot-assisted da Vinci renal cyst removal is the preferred surgical method at Goldstadt Private Clinic.

Short info on robot-assisted da Vinci renal cyst removal

Indication Kidney cyst with corresponding complaints

Cyst removal through a minimally invasive approach
Enlarged view of the surgical area
Three-dimensional view through robot-assisted surgery

Surgery time Approx. 2 hours
Clinic stay 5-6 days
Note General anaesthesia recommended

Questions about robot-assisted da Vinci renal cyst removal

Inpatient admission for robot-assisted da Vinci kidney cyst removal takes place the day before the procedure. The procedure takes place under general anaesthesia. The minimally invasive instruments of the robot are inserted into the abdominal cavity using the keyhole technique. Using three-dimensional vision, the surgeon can see the cyst and carefully removes most of the wall. The robot-assisted surgical technique allows the best possible protection of the kidney and its neighbouring structures. Postoperative care takes place in the recovery room before the patient is transferred to the normal ward. The entire inpatient stay lasts approx. 5-6 days.

The tenfold magnification makes it possible to visualise the anatomical structures much better than with conventional laparoscopy. Compared to the conventional (incision) surgical technique, this results in less blood loss, less pain, and a shorter inpatient stay.


As with any surgical procedure, there are general risks, such as bleeding, inflammation, and disruption of wound healing. Damage to the kidney or ureter are rare complications, as is an alteration of the renal calyceal system due to urine leakage. All possible risks of the surgical intervention are discussed in detail before the procedure.

In general, professional activities corresponding to an office job are possible again 2 weeks after the procedure. Sport and physical activities can be resumed after 6-8 weeks.

Kidney cyst removal is performed under general anaesthesia. Due to the small incisions in the robot-assisted da Vinci renal cyst removal, hardly any pain is expected after the procedure.

About this page:


Prof. Dr. med. Sven Lahme
Urology specialist

Medical director of the Goldstadt-Privatklinik.
Specialist for Urology, Mini-PCNL and robot-assisted da Vinci procedures.

Member in Scientific Societies and Reviewer of scientific journals.

Creation Date: 08.03.2020Modification date: 08.03.2020