Skip to Main Content

We have a new app!

Take the Access library with you wherever you go—easy access to books, videos, images, podcasts, personalized features, and more.

Download the Access App here: iOS and Android

Clinical Summary

When the vestigial urachal duct is not obliterated during development, drainage can occur from the bladder to the umbilicus. Urachal cysts may also be present, detectable as a painful mass between the umbilicus and pubis when they become infected or by ultrasound. Rarely, adenocarcinoma may form in these remnants.


Patent Urachal Duct. This 19-year-old man presented to the emergency department with clear fluid (urine) draining from the umbilicus, suggestive of a patent urachal duct. (Photo contributor: Kevin J. Knoop, MD, MS.)

Management and Disposition

Acute treatment is usually not required unless an infection is evident. Routine urologic consultation for surgical revision is indicated. A retrograde study with radiopaque dye will outline the patent duct.


  1. This finding should prompt a careful search for other urogenital anomalies.


Urachal Cyst. Umbilical pain and discoloration suggested an umbilical mass or inflammation, prompting a CT scan that revealed a urachal cyst. (Photo contributor: Martin D. Klinkhammer, MD, MPH.)


Urachal Cyst—CT. Urachal cyst confirmed by contrast-enhanced CT scan of the abdomen/pelvis. (Photo contributor: Martin D. Klinkhammer, MD, MPH.)

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.