Bladder cysts form inside the lining of the urinary bladder. A cyst is a sac-like pocket of membranous tissue filled with pus, fluid or other substances. Cysts can grow anywhere in your body. When cysts form inside the bladder, they’re usually non-cancerous. However, people with bladder cysts have a high risk of developing bladder cancer.
Symptoms of bladder cysts
Unless a bladder cyst is very large or linked to an underlying condition, it doesn’t always cause symptoms. If symptoms do appear, they may include:
- blood in urine
- frequent urge to urinate
- foul-smelling urine
- urinary incontinence
- pain when you urinate
- pain in your pelvic or flank region(s)
These symptoms can be very similar to those that occur in other conditions, such as:
Causes of bladder cysts
Doctors believe some cysts occur due to chronic inflammation in the bladder. Some persons may be at a greater risk of having a bladder cyst if they have:
- recurrent UTIs
- history of bladder or kidney stones
- use a catheter
- have had surgery on or near the bladder
Diagnosing bladder cysts
Your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms. You may be asked to urinate inside a cup so your urine can be tested for bacteria or any unusual features.
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If a cyst is suspected in your bladder, you may be referred to a urologist who may likely run further diagnostic studies to rule out other types of bladder conditions. Imaging tests might be used to help your doctor check your bladder. These may include one or more of the following:
- plain film X-ray
- CT scan
- MRI scan
If a mass is discovered inside your bladder after the series of diagnostic tests, the urologist will perform a cystoscopy and bladder biopsy procedure to examine your bladder if the mass contains cancerous cells.
Treating bladder cysts
Most bladder cysts don’t cause complications and don’t require any form of treatment. If the cyst ruptures or becomes infected, it may be removed by surgery. A person will receive treatment if a doctor believes the cysts were related to urinary tract infections or urinary tract stones.
Complications of bladder cysts
Bladder cysts don’t usually cause any complications. However, they can sometimes lead to:
- infection in the cyst
- urinary obstruction(blockage)