patent urachus

Last reviewed 01/2018

The urachus connects the developing bladder to the umbilicus in the foetus. It is normally obliterated by the time of birth but on occasion may persist in toto. It presents as drainage of urine through the umbilicus. It may not be detected until adult life because in a child the strong contractions of the bladder during micturition close the mouth of the fistula.

Distal urinary obstruction must be excluded.

Treatment is by excision and ligation.