Exactly why urachal cysts develop isn’t completely understood. They tend to happen completely separate of any other abnormalities that may be found. If the child has problems with their urinary tract, doctors will often complete an ultrasound to check for the cysts and to check kidney function as well.
Pediatric urologists will work with the parents and the baby to help treat the condition. In some cases, the cyst may not even be discovered until adulthood, in which case an adult urologist will help treat the problem. This type of cyst develops from a pocket of fluid or air settles in the urachus. The function of the urachus is to help link the urinary tract and the umbilical cord so that waste may be disposed of. Typically the urachus goes away before a baby is born, but in some people a piece of it may not disappear.
Urachal cysts are not limited to a certain age group, however they are often seen in older children and adults. They are typically benign and nothing to worry about, but it is possible for cancer to develop and doctor’s care should be sought out. If a doctor suggest surgery, it is a good idea to listen in order to prevent problems later on. Most of the time these cysts occur with no symptoms, however, some instances will result in symptoms. The most common complaint is pain in the abdominal area, particularly the lower portion.
There may also be persistent urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, and pain during urination, fever, or a lump near the belly button. In most cases the condition is caught and diagnosed in children because of these symptoms. It is common for the cysts to become infected, causing discomfort and medical attention to be sought out.
The primary danger with these cysts is that they can rupture. When there is no rupture present and no infection, most people are not bothered by cysts at all. Many people have them without even realizing it. Ruptures can put pressure on other organs and start a chain of problems that can be very serious and cause internal bleeding. This is why doctors may want to complete surgery to remove the cysts. Antibiotics may also be given before, or after the surgery to help heal any infection that is present. Typically any existing infection will need to be treated before surgery can be performed.