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Information for Parents

Sacrococcygeal Teratoma (SCT)

  • What is this disease?

    • A sacrococcygeal teratoma (SCT) is a congenital  growth or tumour that develops at the base of the spine just above the buttocks. It is the most common neonatal (newborn) tumour, affecting about 1 in every 40,000 babies born

  • How it is diagnosed?

    • Diagnosis might be made on antenatal scans.  Otherwise, after the baby is born, in most cases, the teratoma will be immediately obvious. If the teratoma is entirely inside the pelvis or abdomen, it might not immediately obvious but suspected when the baby does not pass urine or faeces as expected due to the pressure of the growth on the internal organs.

  • How it is treated?

    • When Newborn is stable, Surgical removal under general anesthetic is done. Imaging scans such as an ultrasound scan or CT or MRI scan to see the teratoma and its blood supply in more detail may be done. Blood tests looking for levels of specific proteins (AFP and BHFG) that may be secreted by the teratoma will be measured.

  • When it should be operated?

    • There are four types of SCT, depending on the location of the growth:

      • Type I is where nearly all the tumour is outside the body

      • Type II is where the tumour is mainly outside the body but a small part may be in the pelvis or abdomen

      • Type III is where the tumour is mainly inside the pelvis or abdomen but a small part may be outside the body

      • Type IV is where the entire tumour is inside the pelvis or abdomen

    • All forms can be removed surgically, but treatment may be more complicated in types III and IV SCT or growths that have grown very large.

  • Are there other alternative methods of treatment?

    • Surgery is the recommended treatment. In the majority of cases, SCTs are benign (not cancerous) but in a small number, they may be found to be cancerous (malignant) when examined in a laboratory. The Cancerous ones will need chemotherapy.

  • What all I need to know before my child surgery?

    • Read “All you need to know before your child's surgery” information booklet in website.

  • How is the surgery done?

    • Under General anesthesia, an incision across the buttocks around the teratoma is made and tumour is resected. If the teratoma is a type III or IV, we  may need to make an incision on the abdomen too or do Laparoscopy.

  •  Remarks

    • For more details of surgery, contact your surgeon

  • Related Photographs and videos

    • Few photographs of steps done by me  is given here for learning purposes

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