Infected Urachal Cyst Following Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy

Max Jackson, BA, Antonio Cusano, BS, Gregory Murphy, MD, Peter Haddock, PhD, Anoop Meraney, MD, Joseph Wagner, MD

Urology Division, Hartford Healthcare Medical Group, Hartford, Connecticut (all authors).


Introduction: In an era of ultrasonography and computed tomography (CT), urachal remnants have been detected with increasing frequency. If these remnants become infected, they can mimic a variety of intra-abdominal pathologies. We present the case histories of two patients with an infected urachal cyst that developed after laparoscopic cholecystectomy and necessitated excision.

Case Descriptions: Patient 1: Four years after a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, a 36-year-old man presented with dysuria, abdominal pain, leukocytosis, and fluid leakage from the umbilical port site. CT imaging revealed an infected urachal cyst with an adherent loop of sigmoid colon. Antibiotic treatment preceded laparoscopic excision of the urachal cyst with partial cystectomy and closure of the sigmoid-to-urachus fistula. In a 3-year follow-up, there was no recurrence. Patient 2: A 68-year-old woman presented 11 months after laparoscopic cholecystectomy with abdominal pain, intermittent fever, and leukocytosis. CT imaging revealed an infected urachal cyst with an associated phlegmon in the abdominal wall. Antibiotic treatment preceded two incision-and-drainage procedures. Six weeks later, the patient underwent robotic excision of the urachal cyst and partial cystectomy. A 3-year follow-up showed no recurrence.

Discussion: The urachus can be punctured during laparoscopic periumbilical port placement and convert into a draining sinus or abscess. Subsequent infection can present with umbilical drainage, abdominal pain, urinary symptoms, and systemic infection. Surgical excision is a reasonable option once the acute infection has been treated. Any images that include the urachus should be reviewed before procedures involving an umbilical port, as puncture of urachal cysts may increase the risk of infection.

Key Words: Cholecystectomy, Infection, Laparoscopy, Urachal cyst.

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