Risk of malignancy and outcomes of surgically resected presacral tailgut cysts: A current review of the Mayo Clinic experience

Sacha P. Broccard, Dorin T. Colibaseanu, Kevin T. Behm, Nitin Mishra, Peter Davis, Kristi L. Maimone, Kellie L. Mathis, Luca Stocchi, Eric J. Dozois, Amit Merchea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: The aim of this study was to describe the surgical management, outcomes and risk of malignancy of presacral tailgut cysts. Method: A retrospective analysis of all patients who underwent resection of tailgut cyst at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota between 2008 and 2020 was performed. Demographics, presentation, evaluation, surgical approach, postoperative complications, pathology and recurrence rates were reviewed. Results: Seventy-three patients were identified (81% female) with a mean age of 45 years. Thirty-nine patients (53%) were symptomatic, most commonly with pelvic pain (26 patients). Digital rectal examination identified a palpable mass in 68%. Mean tumour size was 6 cm. Resection was primarily performed through a posterior approach (77%, n = 56), followed by a transabdominal approach (18%, n = 13) and a combined approach (5%, n = 4). Six patients underwent a minimally invasive resection (laparoscopic/robotic). Coccygectomy or distal sacrectomy was performed in 41 patients (56%). Complete resection was achieved in 94% of patients. Thirty-day morbidity occurred in 18% and was most commonly wound related; there was no mortality. Malignancy was identified in six patients (8%). For the 30 patients with follow-up greater than 1 year, the median follow-up was 39 months (range 1.0–11.1 years). Local recurrence was identified in three patients and distant metastatic disease in one patient. Conclusion: The rate of malignancy in presacral tailgut cysts based on this current review was 8%. Overall recurrence was 5% at a median of 24 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-427
Number of pages6
JournalColorectal Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • malignancy
  • pelvic cystic masses
  • presacral mass
  • retrorectal tumours
  • tailgut cyst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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