Dear Ask The Doctor: My son, who is 17 years old has a very large cyst in his spleen. I had one doctor tell us that since he is having no pain that he does not need surgery, nor limit his activities. Another doctor told me that he does need to limit his activities and have surgery in case the cyst ruptures. So I'm not sure which doctor to believe.
Dear Patient: Splenic cyst have several potential complications. These complications include spontaneous rupture or rupture from trauma to the abdomen (as may occur during sporting activities), infection, bleeding and pain. These complications can be quite seriuos and require emergency surgical intervention. The possiblity of these complications developing increases as the size of the cyst increases. Very large cyst are best dealth with surgically to prevent complications. However, you should not that the cyst may so large that the entire spleen has to be removed at the time of surgery.