Tumours of Retrorectal Space: A Rare Entity Scarcely Known by General Surgeons

Neoplasms occurring in the retrorectal space are an uncommon condition with heterogeneous aetiology. Their incidence is estimated in the range 1: 40,000 to 1: 63,000 admissions. Consequently, most surgeons are not familiar with this condition and diagnosis is a challenge. Some authors have reported an increased incidence in female gender. According to Lovelady and Dockerty, they are classified into congenital (two-thirds), neurogenic, osseous and miscellaneous. Most of patients are asymptomatic and when symptoms appear they are non-specific and diffuse: back pain, constipation, infection, chronic perineal pain, dimpling of the skin, gynaecological complaints etc. An adequate diagnosis is crucial to reach a proper treatment. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imagining are useful tools. Surgery is considered the gold standard treatment. Furthermore, a multidisciplinary approach is required. It must involve colorectal surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, neurologists and traumatologists. We report our experience in these lesions for a 10 year period in an attempt to reach conclusions about the management of this unusual entity.


Ana Maria Minaya Bravo, Enrique Ovejero Merino and Manual Diez Alonso

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