Postnatal Surgery for Sacrococcygeal Teratoma (SCT)

Removal of SCT tumor

If your child is born with a sacrococcygeal teratoma, or SCT tumor, he'll need surgery after delivery. During the surgery, your child’s pediatric surgeon will remove both the tumor and your child's tailbone. The tailbone is removed because the tumor grows from it, and if it's not removed, the tumor may grow back.

If the tumor is in your child's abdomen, his surgeon may need to make two incisions, one in his buttocks and one in his abdomen.

After SCT surgery

After surgery, your child will go back to his hospital room. Here's what to expect:

  • Incision: your child will have sutures over the incision, then a gauze dressing. The sutures will be removed approximately one to two weeks after surgery. Initially after surgery, your child will be placed on his stomach in prone position for a few days up to one week to give the incision time to heal. Sometimes, thin strips of tape, called STERI-STRIPS, are placed after sutures are removed.
  • Pain relief: your child will get pain medication as needed. When he first comes back to her room after surgery, he may need narcotic medication such as morphine or Versed. These medications are administered through an intravenous (IV) line. Once he's able to drink, he can take acetaminophen (TYLENOL) by mouth.
  • Fluids: until your baby can drink, he'll get needed fluids — as well as antibiotics to prevent infection — through his IV.

Your child will be discharged from the hospital when:

  • His incision is healing well
  • He doesn't have a fever
  • He is able to drink, urinate and have a bowel movement

Caring for your child at home

Once your child comes home, he may have formula or breast milk. You may also give him acetaminophen (TYLENOL), according to his doctor's instructions, for any pain he may have.
The STERI-STRIPS will fall off on their own. Once the edges begin to curl up, you may remove them.

Take additional care when cleaning your child's bottom, because the incision area near your child's rectum can become infected if you don't keep it clean. You may give your child a tub bath one to two weeks after surgery.

You'll need to take your child for a follow-up appointment with his surgeon two weeks after he comes home from the hospital, then every few months until he's 2 years old, with annual follow-up appointments after that. At each visit, your child will have a blood test called an alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test, which checks for the return of the tumor.

When to call the doctor

Please call your child's doctor (at Children's Hospital, call 215-590-2730) if:

  • Your child develops a fever greater than 101 degrees F
  • Your child isn't urinating as often as usual (decreased number of wet diapers)
  • Your child is vomiting

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CHOP’s pediatric general surgeons are experts in the surgical and postoperative care of premature babies, neonates, children and adolescents.

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