Recovery time from laparoscopic large liver cyst?

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Hi!  Just had a large liver cyst laparoscopically removed about 9 days ago.  The surgeon also did some resection. Cyst probably about 18cm and about 5 pounds of fluid.  Previously at 22cm and 7 pounds which I had drained, but immediately filled back up, this the surgery.   Feeling pretty good.  No pain to speak of,  just tired, some brain fog and night sweats. Not sure what normal recovery should be?  Anyone with experience that can share when you went back to work, when you were 100% and any watchouts?  

Thank you!

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  • Posted

    Hi

    I'm six months post liver resection. I had open surgery to remove my gallbladder in February. The labs found a growth in the gallbladder, so I had a section V liver resection five weeks later.

    I had night sweats prior to my surgery, but not since. However I can identify with the tiredness and brain fog, which I still have. In fact the tiredness has probably been the worst part. I was tired before the gallstone diagnosis and this was put down to vitamin D deficiency. Then the attacks, when they started July 2016, sometimes lasted four or five days and I could not eat nor sleep and became exhausted. Since the surgery it has been better but I can still fall asleep at the drop of a hat. I don't even realise I was tired until I wake up. As for the brain fog, I know the word I'm trying to say, but a different word comes out of my mouth! Im blaming having two big doses of anaesthetics within five weeks and hoping I'm not losing it completely! I'm more forgetful too. Other than that, I have some right sided tenderness and can't eat large or fatty meals without feeling very uncomfortable these days. I put that down to the gallbladder issue.

    I suppose the good news is the liver regenerates within weeks. I have avoided all alcohol post op. Not that a small glass of wine with my meal once a week exactly made me an alcoholic, but I feel I need to give my poor liver a chance to recover.

    Otherwise I feel better than I've done in years. I'm getting my energy and my appetite back. Due to have first six monthly check up soon, so a little apprehensive that cancer may have spread. Just had a CT scan in the lead up to this. I used to be squeamish about needles and blood, but no more!

    When I look back, I realise how ill I was and how far I've come in six months, though at the time, it was just something I had to get through. 

    I'm retired, (67, but fit and active) so work was never an issue, but I'd say I could have gone back after a couple of months, as I was a graphic artist and medical illustrator and spent my working time sitting in front of an apple mac. Not sure I could have driven to work then though.

    I asked my surgeon if there was anything I should watch out for and he just said 'jaundice', which I'd had in the lead up to having my gallbladder surgery, so I was aware of symptoms.

    The thing is, it's major surgery we've both had. There's no quick fix and it will take time.

    Good luck with your recovery!

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your thoughts.  Wow!  You have had quite the run of it!  2 surgeries quickly.  I had the same years back and the anesthesia really has some after effects.  Only 1 for me this time, but the surgery was 4 hours.  Already feel better 9 days out than I did with the back pain from the cyst.  Looking forward to having my energy and clearity back.  Funny what you said about the alcohol.  I used to have wine most nights and. Now no interest.  When my husband has his, it looks awful to me. Guess the body knows exactly what it needs.

      Many thanks and all the best!

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  • Posted

    Adding info about my recovery for someone who may be searching at a later date.  After laparoscopic surgery with liver resection to remove large 18-22cm simple cyst I felt better in 1 week.  2 weeks out way less discomfort than the back pain I had from the cyst and am returning to work.  At 2 weeks the thing I notice most is I am very tired, but I have really  been on the go.  I also have night sweats likely from the anesthesia during the 4 hour surgery.  I had an awesome surgeon at UCLA (Dr. Agopian) that persevered through  the complicated surgery laproscopically instead of opening me up....that made all the difference.
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  • Posted

    So glad you're recovering well! It gives hope to others who are about to have surgery. Thank you for the update. Best wishes!

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    • Posted

      Thank you!  I hope it does help someone else. People who have liver cysts operated on are few and far between. In my search, there was not much from the patients perspective.

      Sorry to hear about the tiredness. Guess this means you are healing...that is the spin I am putting on mine.

      All the best!

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  • Posted

    Should have said that tiredness has probably been worst aspect of my illness. How do others cope?
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  • Posted

    Had a liver cyst drained about 8 month ago 2.25 lts of fluid.

    Just had pre operation medical and waiting for a date to have cyst de roofed. Very nervous.

    It's good to read others stories and know that recovery seems to go well.

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    • Posted

      Totally understand being nervous. Assuming it will be laprascopic like mine was?  My cyst was large like yours (7 pounds) and  it was an easy surgery and a super quick recovery.   Feeling great and pain free. So happy! 😀. Best wishes for feeling great again!

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    • Posted

      I have a large simple liver cyst as well and am going to do laprascopic. Can you tell me how long you were in the hospital and how long before you could go back to work? Glad you are feeling good! I am so nervous!
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    • Posted

      3 days in the hospital, but may be only 1 day for you.  My cyst was in a tough location to operate on, so the surgery was 4 hours long.  All in all this surgery was a very easy recovery.  I went back to work in 2 to 3 weeks.  You starts feeling great pretty quick!  So worth it for me.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply! There is not much info on this! Glad you are doing good! I'm nervous and meet with the surgeon on March 30th to find out all the details. I think mine is not in a tough location so like you said it may be shorter time in the hospital I hope. I have Kaiser so I'm nervous Bcuz I'm having to go to a dr and place I know nothing about. Thanks for the info i appreciate it! 

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    • Posted

       Sorry I have just one more question did you fill extremely fatigued before having the surgery?  And did you have any other symptoms prior to finding out you had the cyst ...thanks for your help!!
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    • Posted

      I am having a large cyst removed April 23 I have had pain on right side and bloated abdomin. Dr wants an open surgery because of the location of cyst and he will also take my gallbladder. Keep us posted with your experience. I am also on a blood thinner I need to manage,
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    • Posted

      I sure will & keep us posted on how your doing. I hope everything goes well for you & you have a speedy recovery! As soon as I meet with the surgeon at Kaiser I will post more about what is going on. I have had  this pain for almost 2 years and Kaiser tried to tell me to just take Prolisec till finally after seeing 4 doctors & being persistent i got one to order an ultrasound! Then they saw the cysts & i had an MRI done. Mine feels like there is something shoved under my rib cage and I've done 100 sit ups that dull achey pain is constant and my upper abdomen fills full. And I have fatigue all the time. Tired of feeling tired. 

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    • Posted

      Push for laprascopic if it is all possible. Open surgery is easier and quicker for the surgeon, but not for you. My surgeon was having trouble getting at it laprascopically and after a few hours his assistant wanted to open me up.  He told me that there was no reason for my health to open me up, it would have makes it easier on them, but my recovery would have been harder.  They kept going for 4 hours and recovery was easy.  All the best. You will feel great once it is gone.
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    • Posted

      I knew I had the cyst for years...it was accidentally found on a CT scan. It was 8cm when they first found it, then grew to 12cm then 16cm.  Went to see a liver doctor at UCLA who said as long as I am not having symptoms they do nothing. 1 year later, sharp pain lower right back and mid left, and breathing was a little difficult when excersising.  Yes also a bit tired. Checked and now cyst was 22 CM. Liver surgeon first had it aspirated to see if pain subsided. 7 pounds of fluid was  taken out and felt much better.  It filled back up and pain came back. I then was referred to the liver transplant surgeon at UCLA who removed it laparoscopically. I felt great pretty quickly. So glad I had it removed!
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    • Posted

      Can I ask where your cyst was located? Mine is in the center of my liver and they said it’s a tough spot as well so I’m very scared of surgery coming up.
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    • Posted

      Hello!  Your story sounds similar to mine.  December of last year I had a benign liver cyst measuring 20 x 18.7 x 16 cm.  I had 2 liters of fluid drained (instant weight loss of 7 lbs).  Several months ago I began feeling a fullness in my diaphragm and an "awareness" of my breathing not being quite right (other than back pain that I have blamed on the cyst, I have only had discomfort).  I had a sonogram and the cyst had filled back up - although not quite as large, now 12 x 10 x 9 cm .  Yesterday I had laparoscopic fenestration (drained the cyst and "de-roofed" it) as an outpatient.  I haven't needed any pain meds other than Tylenol but I am still having upper back pain (along the bra area).  I was hoping this would go away.  Did your back pain go away immediately and was it in the same location as mine?  Also, I did not lose weight after this surgery - actually put on a pound.  Is it possible the fluid was just drained into my abdomen rather than being drained "outside"?  I suppose that is a question for the doctor who I will see in 3 weeks.  Thank you for your posts.  How are you doing now?

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    • Posted

      I will have surgery next week and I’m very  nervous . We’re supposed to do it laparoscopically possibly open but I’m also getting my gallbladder removed . Mine sits on the Billary area so he’s also deroofing and I’m hoping it won’t come back.i will be admitted into the hospital go at least 5 days. I’m hoping I can start to eat again without all the pain. I hope you start to feel normal again, this has been aweful!
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    • Posted

      It's only normal to be nervous. I had laparoscopic surgery in 2005 to remove my gallbladder. I was so glad to get rid of the pain from the stones. I had a tender tummy for about a week. When they put in the gas so they could see what they were doing I suppose it stretched my stomach muscles. I didn't realize how often I used those muscles! But it was worth it. Mine was outpatient but they weren't doing as much as you're having done. After surgery, walk as soon as they let you and as often as you can. It will help your recovery. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Hi K95053, can you please help? I had a large cyst drained 2 days ago along with my gallbladder taken out. I hear fluid /water in my abdomen. Can this dr. possibly have drained the fluid the wrong way into my abdomen? Instead of outside. Or where does the fluid go after the cyst is removed? Thank you
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