Conditions We Treat: Kidney Cysts

Kidney cysts are fluid-filled structures that grow on or in the kidneys, are generally benign and do not require treatment. In general, kidney cysts do not cause symptoms such as pain or difficulty passing urine. Occasionally, some cysts have characteristics of cancer and surgery may be recommended. Polycystic kidney disease is a separate condition marked by the growth of multiple kidney cysts that gradually grow bigger, and is treated by the Johns Hopkins Division of Nephrology. 

Kidney Cysts: Why Choose Johns Hopkins 

  • Most kidney cysts do not require treatment and experts at Johns Hopkins will help you decide if surgery is needed for your cyst. If your cyst does not require treatment, our experts will help you determine the best surveillance strategy. 
  • If treatment is deemed necessary, our experts have pioneered robotic and minimally invasive surgical techniques to provide patients with better results and less downtime following treatment for kidney cysts. 
  • Before, during and after your treatment, you will receive attentive and skilled care from a multidisciplinary team that may include experts in urology, surgery and urological nursing. 

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Adults: 410-955-6100
Pediatrics: 410-955-6108

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What to Expect

During your initial consultation, your surgeon will review your medical history, outside reports, records and imaging. 

Although kidney cysts don’t always need to be treated, if yours is suspicious for cancer or causes pain or other symptoms, you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive treatment such as partial nephrectomy or laparoscopic cyst decortication (or ablation). During this procedure, your surgeon will remove the cyst(s) using three to four small incisions. This minimally invasive approach preserves the rest of the kidney and provides a faster recovery. 

Kidney Cyst Experts

Our surgical team has extensive experience with the minimally invasive removal of kidney cysts.

Patient Resources

Learn more about laparoscopic cyst ablation