Thyroiditis is enlargement of the thyroid gland from an autoimmune (antibodies to one’s own body) reaction. In this disease, the thyroid cells are damaged by antibodies. This is most commonly called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or autoimmune chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis. It is a common cause of enlargement of the thyroid in children, although it is more common in adults. Hashimoto’s thyroid is 10 times more common in females.
Torsion of Testicular Appendix
Torsion of an appendix testis and appendix epididymis are common causes of torsion. Both of these are small tags of normal tissue attached to the testicle.
Torticollis, or wry neck, results from scarring and a mass in the middle portion of the large muscle in the neck known as the sternocleidomastoid muscle.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) was described almost 150 years ago. Despite significant advancements in the knowledge of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), this disorder’s cause and treatment remain unresolved. Although classically thought of as a disorder of adults, many children are affected. The pediatric surgeon is often instrumental in caring for patients with this disabling disease.
Umbilical (belly button) Hernia
After birth, when the end of the umbilical cord, along with the umbilical vein, umbilical arteries, and urachal remnant, dry up, a small opening is left in the abdominal wall. Failure of the muscles to close around this opening causes an umbilical hernia.
After normal separation of the umbilical cord; pink, healing tissue called granulation tissue may persist in the belly button and enlarge into a mass called an umbilical granuloma . This is often associated with umbilical drainage and swelling with redness of the surrounding skin.
Umbilical Infection (omphalitis)
Umbilical infections in older children are usually due to bacterial growth in a cavity from a left over fetal structure, most commonly a structure that was once attached to the bladder called the urachus.
Beginning in the fourth week of fetal life the front of the abdomen develops by tissue folding in from the sides, top and bottom. Between 6 and 10 weeks’ gestation, some of the fetus’ intestine is located outside of the main body cavity but it returns to the developing abdomen by the 10th week. By 12 weeks’ gestation, the large abdominal wall muscles in the front, called the rectus muscles, join each other in the midline except at the site of the umbilical ring (belly button), where the muscles are separated by tissue.
An empty scrotum is found in 20% to 30% of premature infants and 1.2% to 4% of mature newborns. This means that there is no testicular tissue that can be found in the scrotum. The diagnosis of true undescended testis may be difficult to determine before age 6 months, particularly in premature infants.
The urachus is a fetal structure that extends up from the top of the bladder to the lower part of the umbilicus (belly button). While it may remain open throughout life, the urachus usually collapses and becomes occluded after birth. The urachus may produce symptoms if some or all of it remains open after birth.
Wilms’ tumor is a cancer of childhood that arises in the kidney. It is made up of cells that originate from immature tissue. Approximately 500 new cases are seen in the United States each year, representing slightly more than 10% of all cases of childhood cancer.