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Coccygectomy Surgery

What does this word mean?

The word “coccygectomy” means removing a portion of the end of the tailbone, called the Coccyx.

Why is a Coccygectomy done?

Patients who have a broken tailbone and suffer from chronic pain sometimes have this surgery done.

How is a Coccygectomy done?

Here are some of the steps of how this surgery is done:

  1. This procedure is performed in an Operating Room.
  2. An intravenous catheter (IV) is started. Antibiotics are given before surgery.
  3. The patient is first positioned on their back (supine) and a General Anesthetic is given.
  4. The patient is placed on the stomach (prone).
  5. The skin around the tailbone is cleaned with a sterile antiseptic solution. Sheets (drapes) are placed around the site.
  6. An X-Ray machine is used to visualize the coccyx.
  7. The surgeon makes a cut (incision) over the coccyx.
  8. The tissue above the coccyx is separated until the bone is seen.
  9. The fractured bone and the end of the coccyx are carefully removed.
  10. The tissue and skin are closed.
  11. A bandage (dressing) is placed.
  12. The patient is turned onto the back, awoken from Anesthesia and brought to the Recovery Area.

How long does it take to perform a Coccygectomy?

This surgery usually takes about 1-1.5 hours to complete.

What is the recovery like from a Coccygectomy?

 Here are some of the steps in the recovery from this surgery:

  1. This surgery is often done as an outpatient
  2. The patient is given discharge instruction including limited time spent sitting and walking in the first few days after surgery.
  3. Restrictions on taking a bath are also often given.
  4. Wound care is very important as the risk of infection from this surgery is relatively high due to the closeness of the incision to the rectum.
  5. The patient is often seen by the surgeon within 1 week.

What type of benefit can patients gain from this surgery?

Chronic tailbone pain can be permanently relieved in some patients who undergo this surgery.