Cystic Disease of the Kidney.
Cysts of the kidney are more interesting from a surgical standpoint than from that of medicine, since they are but little influenced by medication. They may be congenital or acquired, unilateral or bilateral, and vary in size from that of a pea to that of one which fills the abdominal cavity. There may be but one, or there may be many. The smaller ones are found associated with chronic nephritis. The cysts contain a clear or turbid fluid, varying in color from amber to a brownish black, and containing albumin, blood crystals, cholesterin, uric-acid crystals, and the triple phosphates.
Symptoms.—There are no characteristic symptoms to suggest the nature of the disease, but they are rather those of chronic nephritis, and later those of uremia.
Diagnosis.—Where large, a careful physical examination may reveal their nature.
Prognosis.—When unilateral the patient may be but little affected, and when of large size, surgical interference may be followed by favorable results. When the disease is bilateral, it can only terminate in one way, death.
Treatment.—This is entirely surgical, and consists in removing the cyst and capsule, and suturing the kidney. If degeneration has taken place, nephrectomy is the only resort.