Benign Liver Tumours
Benign liver tumours are usually symptom free and are found by chance during a ultrasound as part of a routine check-up. They include the following diseases:
They are often found by change in a patient without symptoms and generally have no ill effects. Only if pains occur in connection with very big cysts or with a so called cyst liver, which can be greatly enlarged due to multiple cysts, would surgery be indicated by cysts with sterile contents. By means of the so called "keyhole surgery" (laparoscoptic) the cysts are opened and relieved. This surgery involves a very short hospital stay only.
A haemangioma is a tumour of a blood vessel, cause by proliferation. Haemangioma are the most common type of liver tumour. As with liver cysts, surgery is only necessary if the size causes trouble. They can reach a considerable size - according to certain references up to 18 kilos - and occur usually (> 90%) as solitary tumours. Cases of degeneration have never been described. Thanks to modern imaging methods it is very seldom that surgery is needed to rule out the presence of malignancies.
Liver Cell Adenomas
Liver cell adenomas occur mainly in young woman and are attributed to the use of anti-baby pills (oestrogen). Degeneration is seldom, but they can suddenly start to bleed without any advance warning. There is a danger of tearing and bleeding. Due to the risk of degeneration, a liver cell adenoma should always be surgically removed. About one third of the patients have multiple adenomas with at least 2-3 nodules. In some cases this number can go up to 10, this is called liver adenomatosis.
Focal Nodular Hyperplasia (FNH)
These are benign changes consisting of functioning liver tissue, which, due to their size can cause trouble. Generally they are simply small lesions (injuries or functional disorders) smaller than 3cm in diameter. In 80% of the cases they occur solitarily and cause neither danger of tearing nor of degeneration. The differentiation from other tumours can be difficult. They must be distinguished from adenomas and hepatocellular carcinoma. If a clear diagnosis is possible, it is sufficient to have regular check-ups. In rare cases manifesting symptoms, surgical removal can be indicated.