BACKGROUND: Benign presacral nerve sheath tumors represent up to 10% of all presacral tumors. Limited data exist regarding the impact of the surgical technique on neurological outcomes following resection.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to test our hypothesis that a nerve-sparing resection technique results in the improvement of preoperative neurological dysfunction and minimal postoperative neurological morbidity.
DESIGN: This study is a case series of all patients with benign neurogenic presacral tumors operated on by the same 2 surgeons between 2004 and 2010 at our institution.
SETTINGS: This study was performed at a tertiary care center.
PATIENTS: Adult patients with benign presacral neurogenic tumors who underwent a nerve-sparing resection were included.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Postoperative urogenital, anorectal, and lower-extremity neurological functions were analyzed.
RESULTS: Seventeen patients were identified with a mean age of 40 years; 14 were women. Preoperatively, 13 patients had symptoms from neurological dysfunction or presumed mass effect of the tumor. The mean tumor size was 7.4 cm. The pathology was a schwannoma in 12 patients and neurofibroma in 5 patients. Mortality was nil, and 30-day morbidity was noted in 3 patients (hemorrhage, ileus, acute respiratory distress syndrome, deep vein thrombosis, and transient foot drop). Mean follow-up was 36 months. Of the 13 symptomatic patients, 7 achieved complete resolution of symptoms and 5 had improved, but persistent symptoms. None of the 4 asymptomatic patients developed postoperative neurological dysfunction.
LIMITATIONS: Small sample size was a limitation of this study.
CONCLUSIONS: With the use of a nerve-sparing technique, function-preserving resection can be safely completed with an overall improvement in symptoms.