Umbilical Cyst Surgery

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My two-year-old, Morgan is having surgery on Monday to remove a growth on her belly button which is what they think is some sort of umbilical cyst.

It has gotten bigger as she has, and after visiting with a pediatric surgeon, we learned there is risk of it getting infected, so it has to be removed.

I am sure when she is bikini shopping 15 years from now she will be thanking us for getting it taken care of before she can remember. But as a mom, the thought of her having surgery is rough.

I was hoping it would be a quick procedure with a local anesthetic, but at her age, she has to be put under for the surgery and the thought of it scares me.

Then I think about parents that have to endure multiple surgeries with their kids for far worse circumstances, and I realize I am incredibly lucky this is so minor in comparison.

But it doesn’t make me feel less nervous.

As I was carrying her across the parking lot for the consult, she had her arms wrapped tightly around my neck and she gave me a big squeeze and said, “Love you mama!” Every time she says that my heart nearly explodes.

At that moment, I was overwhelmed with this feeling of being one with her.

No one can prepare you for the depth of emotion you feel for your your kids. She is a part of me and whatever happens to her, is happening to me.

Times 100.

Please keep positive thoughts for us on Monday that all goes well.  And if anyone has advice on going through a surgery with a toddler, would love your insight, advice and tips.

One of my friends recommended putting her in a diaper for the procedure even though she is potty trained. Her daughter woke up from the anesthesia and peed – would have never thought of that one.

Someone else told me that they will likely give her some “happy juice” before she goes in so that she is loopy and not crying and hysterical.  My biggest fear is the thought of her looking at me and crying as they wheel her away. So I hope that the happy juice is real.

Here  is a photo of it, as I am sure you are probably curious what an umbilical cyst is!

When she was a baby I just thought her belly button was going to be an “outie,” but it was an outie that kept growing and growing.

Wish us luck – thanks in advance for your thoughts and support.

Have a great weekend everyone!



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  1. 1
    Kristal says:

    Hi Jen – I am so sorry to hear that Morgan has to undergo surgery on Monday. Max also had surgery two years ago and I can totally relate and remember the feelings. I will be thinking of her and you and know that she will be great. For Max, we brought a portable DVD player with a new movie for him to watch while he was staying in recovery. Also, I agree with your friend about the diaper during the procedure. Good lluck with everything and please keep me posted. XO

    • 2
      Jen says:

      Wouldn’t have thought of the DVD player, thank you!

  2. 3
    Lauren K says:

    Hi Jen, I’ll be thinking of her (and you) on Monday. Blakley had surgery at 13 months old due to a kidney defect. I’m so glad someone had warned me that kids can be really upset when they come out of anesthesia, so that I was prepared for it. We took a portable dvd player into the recovery room with us and played her favorite childrens’ music on it when she started to wake up and was inconsolable. Between that and holding her really close in our arms, it calmed her down. Good luck to you guys,and just remember that it is definitely harder on you than on her.

    • 4
      Jen says:

      Thank you so much for the warning on the waking up part. I would so much rather be prepared than be surprised…

  3. 5
    Lisa says:

    I have no experience with surgery, so I can only send my prayers. Can’t wait until it is OVER so you don’t have to worry any more!

    • 6
      Jen says:

      Thank you! Am taking all the prayers we can get!

  4. 7
    Lyndsay Elliott says:

    Jen…my college roommate just wrote a book on helping kids to cope with a medical environment (hospitalizations, doc visits, etc.) She’s a child life specialist. You can find her book via FB under “taking care of precious ones.” Will be thinking of you on Monday.

    • 8
      Jen says:

      Thank you Lyndsay! Great resource!

  5. 9
    Lindsay says:

    My son had to get tubes in his ears when he was 2.5yrs old. He was given the sleepy juice which made saying ‘goodbye’ a lot easier. He was really loopy & had no idea what was going on. They didnt start the IV until he was completely out & in the OR. Coming out of anesthesia was a totally different story. I really don’t want to scare you but just be prepared that she might be angry. It was bizarre. The anesthesiologist told me that this would probably happen but until it’s happening to your own child it’s hard to understand. He still had his IV in when he was in the recovery room & I think that was the main reason for his anger. He put up quite a fight & he’s not a fighter. Apparently this is common with toddlers & anasthesia. Again, I don’t want to scare you, just inform. By the next day he was back to his old happy smiling self. Good luck & message me if you want to chat!

    • 10
      Jen says:

      I would so much rather be prepared, thank you so much.

      Confirmed with the nurse via phone today that she will be given sleepy juice, thank God.

      I had a terrible vision of her crying for me as they were wheeling her away.

  6. 11
    Carmen says:

    Hi Jen,
    Haley had surgery when she was 3. It was the toughest to have to send her off with nurses. I brought her favorite baby and the nurse actually wrapped the baby’s hand just like Haley’s so she could care for Baby like I cared for her. We also got her a special present for her after wards a new movie to watch and to keep her calm.
    Good luck and I will keep your family in my thoughts!! Hugs.

    • 12
      Jen says:

      Thank you Carmen, we will be making sure her favorite blankie “aka bee” is with her the entire time. Will be glad when this is over!

  7. 13

    The happy juice is for real! My daughter had a tonsillectomy a year ago so I know what you’re going through. They gave her a teddy bear and she was smiling as they wheeled her away so that part wasn’t so hard. The waking up very unhappy was probably the hardest. Thinking of you and your daughter…

    • 14
      Jen says:

      Got confirmation that she will be given “happy juice” so she is relaxed. Thank goodness. Thank you for your thoughts and advice!

  8. 15
    Susanne says:

    Will be sending prayers & strength your way – she will be absolutely fine but I understand the stress. Hang in there! Xo

    • 16
      Jen says:

      Thanks Sus!

  9. 17
    Lani says:

    Hi Jen. I had a similar experience with my oldest son when he was six. I was concerned going in about getting my son changed into the hospital cloth’s because he is very picky about cloths. The nurse really helped me out and between the two of us we had a clever story made up. I saw you were warned about the after surgery, coming out of anesthesia – it took my son a while to come out of it so be prepared to ride it out. These experiences do make you think about life and being grateful. I’ll be thinking of you and I’ll say a little prayer on Monday that your daughter feels calm.

    • 18
      Jen says:

      Thank you Lani, I appreciate your help and prayers!!!

  10. 19
    Kim says:

    I wish I could prepare you for when Morgan is wheeled out, but no matter what, it will break your heart. Glad others warned that coming out of anesthesia can be tough. Ride it out with whatever you need and have her go easy on food for the rest of the day. May want an icepack in case there is any pain when they take the IV out. Oh, and ask to get all sticky adhesive pads removed while she is still under– don’t want an already unhappy kid having to have giant adhesives ripped off. Please email me (or text) if you have any questions or need any advice! Thinking of you gals and sending good thoughts.

    • 20
      Jen says:

      I would have never thought of the adhesive pads or icepack, thank you so much for the advice and good thoughts…xoxo

  11. 21
    genevieve larson says:

    My daughter had surgery on her belly button at 10 weeks old. Her bladder was coming out her belly button. It was so scary but needed to be done. The good thing is kids bounce back so fast after surgery.

    • 22
      Jen says:

      That is exactly what the surgeon said – kids heal very quickly. Thanks for the comment and I am glad everything was OK with your little one!

  12. 23
    Ashleigh says:

    Hey Jen,
    My husband is a surgeon and says it is the kids that are most resilient (vs the parents). Stay strong for your little one and she will do the same for you.

    Best of luck tomorrow!

  13. 24
    Christina says:

    How did Morgan’s surgery go? Thinking good thoughts today! And hope she is on back on her little toes soon!

    • 25
      Jen says:

      She did great, we were home by 10:30 and she doesn’t seem to be in pain, Just taking it easy today and watching a lot of TV. Thanks for your concern! All is well! Xo

  14. 26
    Kerry says:

    We are going in tomorrow morning for my almost 3 year old son’s surgery-looks just like his belly button. Thanks for the updates- still nervous

    • 27
      Jen says:

      Hi Kerry – Good luck, I feel for you, and know exactly what you are going through!

      Please read this post if you didn’t already!

      And in hindsight I am still shocked at how well she did overall. You wouldn’t have even known she had surgery. Kids are amazing, it was by far harder on me!

      Her belly button is completely healed now and you can’t even tell she had something removed. I am just so happy to have it done and over with.

      Please keep me posted on how it goes and if you have any questions email me at Jennifer @ tinyoranges . Com.

      Good luck!

  15. 28
    Kam says:

    Hi,Jenny,just found out my son age 30 myths old had a cyst in his navel too. Doctor said that it is not harmful. But I am very worry. Do u know any article relates to this? I searched the Internet and get nothing. How long is the surgery took?

  16. 29
    jen says:

    Hi Kam,

    Yes, my daughter’s was also harmless, but the doctor recommended removing it as they can get infected.

    Plus, hers kept growing and getting bigger, and I knew that eventually she would want it removed.

    The surgery only took about 45 minutes once she was in there. It was very short.

    I hope all goes well with you if you decide to have it removed!

  17. 30
    Kam says:

    Hi Jenny, Thanks for your reply. Doctor said that the cyst is too small to remove now – 3mm .
    She will remove it if it is getting bigger. Do you think it’s similar to urachal cyst?it scared me when i searched through the net.

  18. 31
    Manda W. says:

    My daughter (almost 3 yrs old) has what I believe is a cyst on her belly button. I took her to the pediatrician when I noticed it because all of a sudden it was there. I could swear I would have noticed it if it was normal and she’d had it all along. The pediatrician said it was just part of her belly button, but to come back if it started leaking any fluid or it got bigger. I’m still NOT convinced it’s normal.

    How was your daughter diagnosed? I would rather get a minor procedure done now (if needed) and avoid any infection or issues later on. I googled urachal cyst and about scared myself silly. I hope hers is nothing to worry about, but I can’t help it. She’s my baby girl.

    Thank you!

  19. 32
    AJ says:

    I will be taking my 2 year old son to see a surgeon next week. He has something on his belly button that looks just like that and is slowly growing. No one seems to know what it is, so hopefully this surgeon has some answers for us. I am hoping it is nothing more serious than a cyst! I had one other child under-go surgery, but it was a really major surgery (a liver transplant) and she was a bit younger. We did not have good outcomes, so I am a nervous wreck over this! I hope everything goes/went well with your baby’s surgery!! Good luck with everything! I am glad I came across this because this is the only thing I can find that remotely looks like what my son’s does. Thank you!

    • 33
      jen says:

      Hi Aj, Good luck meeting with the surgeon. I hope it is just what my daughter had- it was really simple procedure and she was totally fine. Almost zero recovery time and it healed beautifully. It was a 100 times harder on me as the mom!! Good luck – let me know what happens.

  20. 34
    Joann says:

    Did your daughter ever poke at her belly button as if the cyst was bothering her? My daughter has that same exact bump but her doctor has said it is nothing to worry about. Now I’m thinking I need a second opinion. My girl is always poking hers or touching it so maybe it bothers her.
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  21. 35
    jen says:

    Hi Joann, I don’t really remember it bothering her that much, but it has been awhile now. I had one doctor that said it was nothing to worry about, and then a second that said due to risk of infection it should be removed. Looking back, I am glad I got a second opinion and glad we got it removed. It never hurts to get a second opinion (in my opinion!) Let me know what happens. How old is your child?

  22. 36
    Joann says:

    My baby will be 19 months next week. She’s had the bump since she was a couple of months old, but now it seems like it’s growing with her like you said. I am going to get another opinion because I’d hate for it to keep growing and end up wishing I did something about it long ago. Thanks again, I appreciate you putting this out there!

  23. 37
    Jen says:

    Hi Joann! Good luck, let me know what they say. My daughter’s also kept growing over her first year, and I wanted to do the surgery before she would remember it. Looking back, she handled it all like a champ, was up and running around same day. It was way harder on me as a mom! Let me know what you decide…

  24. 38
    Joann says:

    Thank you! I’m thinking the same… if surgery is needed, I’d rather have it done sooner than later and get it over with. I’m taking her in tomorrow and we’ll see what they say about removing it. I’ll keep ya posted, thanks again!

  25. 39
    Rachel says:

    So glad your small one got through the procedure ok! My 2 yet old has had the same thing since birth and uh was only diagnosed last week! My doctor is a moron!!! I was told its nothing to worry about unless it becomes infected!! I think I’ll probably wait till she’s a little older to have hers removed as she’s the most stubborn child in the uk 🙂 thank you for posting the pic, I’ve searched everywhere trying to find what it is and why causes it and why happens next!

    • 40
      jen says:

      Good luck Rachel! Keep me posted!

  26. 41
    Missy says:

    Hi, I’m researching this now as my two year old is about to go through the same thing, was there any scaring or deformation? Also did a plastic surgeon do the surgery? Missy

    • 42
      Jen says:

      No scaring or deformation – and it was not a plastic surgeon – I can’t remember what kind of surgeon he was since it was so long ago but for sure wasn’t a plastic surgeon. Good luck!!

  27. 43
    Megan says:

    We are having this exact same growth removed on our son this Monday. I AM SO NERVOUS!! It’s nice to read a post from someone who understands. Do you have any advice for us?

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