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Does having PKD cause your stomach/abdomen to "swell"?

By Anonymous December 24, 2011 - 8:25am
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Ten months ago, due to cancer in my colon, I had to have reconstruction surgery to remove the cancer. However, a couple of years prior I had been diagnosed with PKD. My kidneys are totally covered with cysts of all sizes and shapes, (some as large as 3in.) and too many to count. For as long as I can remember (current age: 59), I have dealt with many other digestive challenges; ibs, diverticulitis, etc.
Again though, would PKD add to the size of one's waist? Thank you.

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EmpowHER Guest

Actually, Yes. PKD can expand your waistline. I realize this response is about a year late, and chances are by now you've realized that you received very, very, very bad information regarding the dreaded 'PKD belly'. Generalizations about kidney disease do not help patients asking about specific diseases and I'm extremely sorry you were misinformed. Please get involved in a few PKD forums, maybe the facebook group...this way as your disease progresses you can ask questions to those who suffer through life with this disease. You have a few factors here that could lead to your belly looking bloated, so if its something you are concerned with your doctor really should be able to look at your last abdominal ultrasound and let you know whether or not the belly you see is a few extra pounds, the 'twins' starting to show, or something that needs to be investigated further.

I don't mean to scare, but here are some images for you of polycystic kidneys. Keep in mind that not everyone develops 'the PKD belly'. I just want you to understand that it's completely possible for it to happen. Stay safe and as healthy as you can.


September 5, 2012 - 12:51am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi Anonymous,

Thank you for your question and welcome to Empowher. I would check with your treating physician about this question. After some research, I don't find that there is a relation to swelling of the abdomen and kidney disease. If you have cysts that are large, I could imagine that it may show if you had a smaller frame.


I would certainly follow up with your doctor about this question as they have your medical records and can examine you if there is swelling in the stomach area. I would be more concerned about the colon cancer that was removed. It is not that uncommon to suffer hernias in the stomach area after resection of your colon. I am not sure if this is how they removed your colon cancer but it is just a thought.

Please keep us posted on what your doctor says.

Good luck,


December 24, 2011 - 10:02am
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