A cyst is a collection of fluid. Kidney cysts are very common (a third of us have one) and usually cause no problems. Occasionally, a cyst can increase in size and produce pain and a high blood pressure due to compression of the rest of the kidney. The first-line treatment of such a cyst is to drain it under a local anaesthetic as most will not re-fill. If the cyst does re-fill and continues to cause symptoms it is best dealt with by an operation.
The kidneys lie high in the abdomen, below the diaphragm and as a result can only be reached by traditional surgery through a large incision. The laparoscopic operation is performed through 3 x 5-10 mm cuts near the rib cage.
Although laparoscopy is a type of keyhole surgery, the view obtained is much better than looking through a keyhole. Modern equipment produces a wide, bright, clear and magnified view of the operation. The gas used to distend the abdomen during laparoscopy also greatly reduces bleeding during surgery.