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Malignant risk and surgical outcomes of presacral tailgut cysts. BJS 2010; 97: 575-579.

Published: 18th February 2010

Authors: K. L. Mathis, E. J. Dozois, M. S. Grewal, P. Metzger, D. W. Larson, R. M. Devine et al.


Presacral tailgut cysts are uncommon and few data exist on the outcomes following surgery.


Patients undergoing tailgut cyst resection at the Mayo Clinic between 1985 and 2008 were analysed retrospectively. Demographic data, clinicopathological features, operative details, postoperative complications and recurrence were reviewed.


Thirty‐one patients were identified (28 women), with a median age of 52 years. Seventeen patients were symptomatic and 28 had a palpable mass on digital rectal examination. Median cyst diameter was 4·4 cm. Four patients had a fistula to the rectum. Complete cyst excision was achieved in all patients; eight underwent distal sacral resection or coccygectomy. Postoperative complications occurred in eight patients but without 30‐day mortality. Malignant transformation was present in four patients: adenocarcinoma in three and carcinoid in one. The cyst recurred in one patient after surgery for a benign lesion.


Presacral tailgut cysts should be removed due to the risk of malignant transformation. Copyright © 2010 British Journal of Surgery Society Ltd. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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