Article Abstract

Laparoscopic management of urachal cysts

Authors: Salvatore Fabio Chiarenza, Cosimo Bleve


Background: The urachus and the urachal remnants represent a failure in the obliteration of the allantois
at birth that connects the bladder to the umbilicus. After birth it obliterates and presents as the midline
umbilical ligament. Urachal cyst are the most common urachal anomaly in the pediatric population. The
traditional surgical approach is a semicircular infraumbilical incision or a lower midline laparotomy.
Methods: In a 10 years period at Pediatric Surgery Department of Vicenza 16 children were diagnosed with
urachal anomalies presenting as abdominal or urinary symptoms. Eight underwent open excision; eight were
treated by laparoscopic surgery. The average age was 5.5 years (range, 4 months–13 years) in open group and
10 years (range, 1 month–18 years) in laparoscopic group.
Results: Mean operative time was 63 minutes (range, 35–105 minutes) in open group, 50 minutes
(range, 35–90 minutes) in laparoscopic group. There were no postoperative complications. The patients of
laparoscopic group were all discharged after few days (range, 2–4 days). Pathological examination confirmed
a benign urachal remnant in all cases. Reporting our experience since comparing the two surgical approaches
we want to describe the technique step by step of laparoscopic urachal cyst excision as minimally invasive
diagnostic and surgical techniques.
Conclusions: Laparoscopy represent a useful alternative for the management of persistent or infected
urachus, in particular when there’s the suspect despite the lack of radiological evidence. The morbidity
associated with this approach is very low as the risk or recurrence. Laparoscopy in the management of urachal
cyst is safe effective and ensures good cosmesis with all the advantages of minimally invasive approach.