All You Need to Know about Cortical Cyst

The cortical cyst refers to a very common type of kidney cyst. Because it is located at the renal cortex, it is called the cortical cyst. It is a fluid-filled sac growing in the outer area of the kidneys. You might have one, or you might have several, and they can affect just one or both kidneys.

Causes and Symptoms of Cortical Cyst

Understanding the causes and symptoms can help you when it comes to treatment. Here are the basics of what you need to know:


No one knows for sure what causes it. It might be caused by infections, injuries or genetic issues. Scientists do know that they occur more often in men than in women, and the older you get, the better your chances are for developing them.


Very small cysts might cause no problems at all, and you might not know you have the cyst until it is found in a routine examination for other issues. As the cyst grows larger, you might start to feel pain or pressure in your back or sides, which often radiates downward. The pain is usually dull, not sharp. When it becomes big enough, you might be able to feel it when you press down on your abdomen. You might notice blood or bubbles in your urine. You might also begin to experience problems with high blood pressure.

Treatments for Cortical Cyst

Fortunately, there are many ways to treat these cysts. Some might be effective on their own, while others might need to be combined with other treatments in order to obtain the best outcome.

1. Natural Remedies

These common natural remedies have been shown to work; however, they do take longer than other interventions do.

  • Dietary and Lifestyle Changes. Changing the way you eat can make a big difference in how long the cysts stay and whether they come back. You should avoid spicy and fatty foods, foods that are stimulants (like coffee or sodas) and processed foods. Smoking and drinking can also increase problems with the kidneys, so it pays to stop both activities altogether.
  • Limit of Sodium Intake. Since the cyst can affect your blood pressure, avoid making it worse by cutting out most sodium from your diet. Following a low-sodium diet can relieve the pressure on your kidneys and help treat the cyst.

2. Medical Treatments

There are many medical treatments that can help you deal with a cortical cyst.

  • Regular Checkups. If the cyst is small and causing no symptoms, the doctor might suggest that you simply come back in six months to one year for another checkup. Slow-growing cysts might stay in your body for a long time before they become big enough to bother you.
  • Medicines. The medications prescribed for this condition typically are used to relieve symptoms, not to cure the cyst. You might be given antibiotics or painkillers while you and your doctor choose a course of action.
  • Puncture. This simple procedure involves a needle inserted into the cyst, which is then drained of fluid. Then alcohol is injected into the cyst to harden it in the hopes of not allowing it to grow bigger. The problem is that eventually the cyst will fill with fluid again, and might have to be drained repeatedly.
  • Laparoscopic Decortication. This is a more invasive procedure in which the cyst is cut open and the ends are burned. It can be done with an overnight stay in the hospital.
  • Micro-Chinese Medicines. These natural remedies consist of ingredients placed in bags and then placed on the renal area, in the hopes of soaking into the skin and slowly shrinking the cysts. This can take many visits but is considered harmless for elderly patients, who might not always want to have surgery.