Pediatric Surgical Associates
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Pediatric Surgical Associates

Urachal Remnant

Usually seen in infancy and early childhood, urachal remnant occurs when the urachus, or tube connecting the bladder to the umbilicus during fetal development, fails to close.


During the 4th – 5th month of fetal development, the urachus usually closes. If it does not, 3 things can happen:

  1. Urachal cyst – Occurs in 30% of cases. The urachus closes without an opening to the bladder, developing a residual sac, or cyst, underneath the umbilicus.
  2. Urachal sinus – The urachus partially closes, but the remainder of the tube opens to the umbilicus and/or to the bladder.
  3. Patent urachus – Occurs in 50% of cases. A communication between the bladder and umbilicus remains, called a fistula.


  • Thin, light yellow, watery discharge from the umbilicus
  • If a cyst, can present as a tender, swollen mass at the umbilicus. Often gets infected.
  • If a sinus or patent fistula, urine can drain from the umbilicus.

Problems that can occur from urachal remnants:

  • Infection
  • Slight risk of cancer


Surgical removal of the entire urachal cyst and/or tract.

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