Rare diagnosis, even rarer treatment

Around this time last year, Jennifer Matlock noticed that her 14-month-old daughter, Peyton, was showing some concerning signs. Her stomach hurt and there was drainage from her belly button.

Jennifer didn’t know if it was a big deal, but she felt like safe was better than sorry, so she took Peyton to see her pediatrician, Dr. Elenna Chinn at Rockwall Pediatrics. Dr. Chinn decided after examining Peyton that she needed a follow-up appointment with a specialist; so, she referred her to Dr. Patricio Gargollo, a urologist at Children’s.

As soon as Dr. Gargollo saw Peyton, he suspected she had a urachal cyst. An ultrasound confirmed his suspicion.

“Urachal cysts only occur in about one in 5,000 patients,” Dr. Gargollo said. “I had only seen two cases before Peyton in my career. But her symptoms were distinct, and we take urachal cysts very seriously because they may lead to urachal cancer if left untreated.”

Urachal cancer is one of the worst types of urological cancer. It’s extremely aggressive and fatal for nearly everyone who gets it.

HIdES procedure saves the day
If you’re like me, you’d expect that there would be an extensive, taxing procedure for such a potentially dangerous condition. But if you’re like me, you also don’t have the medical expertise of Dr. Gargollo.

Dr. Gargollo invented a new surgical procedure called HIdES earlier this year. It’s detailed in this article, but the gist is that he’s able to perform elaborate robotic surgeries through two tiny incisions directly beneath the waist line and one incision in the belly button.

The benefit of the procedure is that the resulting scars are hidden behind swim suit bottoms when children like Peyton go to the beach. And for Peyton, that meant the day after surgery.

Because the incisions with HIdES are so small, Peyton was fully recovered the day following her cyst removal and able to leave directly from the hospital for a beach vacation with her family.

Now, a couple of months later, Dr. Gargollo is confident her cyst will not return.

“She’s doing really well,” he said. “There’s no reason to worry about the cyst coming back, and there’s no evidence that she ever had it removed because her scars are hidden.”

Peyton’s mom is grateful.

“We were confident going into the surgery, because we had done our research and knew Dr. Gargollo was going to take care of it,” Jennifer said. “She’s bounced back completely, and we’re just happy that what could’ve been a really big deal didn’t have to be.”

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