Children's Hospital Colorado

Urachal Problems - Abscesses, Cysts, Sinuses and Remnants

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What is the urachus?

The urachus is a channel between the bladder (which stores urine) and the umbilicus (belly button) in a developing fetus. Urine drains from the fetus via this channel in the first trimester of fetal development. The urachus usually closes by the 12th week of gestation, leaving a small fibrous cord between the bladder and the belly button.

What causes urachal problems or urachal abnormalities?

Urachal problems, also known as urachal abnormalities, occur when the urachus does not close normally during fetal development. This can cause issues such as:

  • Urachal remnant: The channel does not close at all. If the channel is open from the umbilicus to the bladder, it is called a patient urachus.
  • Urachal sinus: The urachus does not close at the umbilicus, leading to an open tract from the umbilicus to the urachus that should be closed.
  • Urachal cyst: The urachus channel closes at both the bladder and the umbilicus but leaves a cyst (fluid-filled sac) in the middle portion of the channel.
  • Urachal abscess: A urachal sinus or cyst may get infected.

Why choose us to treat urachal problems?

At Children’s Colorado, all we do is care for kids. Our whole team, from pediatric surgeons to nurses and anesthesiologists, has special training in keeping kids safe and making them feel comfortable. We use special equipment made just for children and pediatric anesthesiology helps them feel better and go home sooner, so they can get back to being kids again.

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