Closure of dermal sinus

Procedure to close a congenital channel in the skin along the base of the spine

Closure of your dermal sinus can reduce susceptibility to infection and help symptoms linked to a tethered spinal cord

What is dermal sinus?

A dermal sinus is a congenital condition (formed at birth) where a tract runs along the midline of the body. It can be found anywhere between your tailbone and the root of your nose. If visible, it can appear as a small dimple or opening (sinus), with or without hairs.

Surgery may be advised to close the dermal sinus and prevent or treat associated symptoms including infections.

Need to know

  • What happens during dermal sinus closure? icon plus

    Dermal sinus has been linked to a range of symptoms. It can make you more susceptible to infection, to bladder problems, pains in the legs or spine and neurological issues (disorders of the nervous system). Sometimes there are no symptoms at all. Treatment may be recommended for infants and young children to prevent issues as they grow.

    A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan will usually be a first step in helping your consultant to find the exact location of the tract. Depending on your circumstances, your consultant may decide to operate to close the dermal sinus or remove the tract completely.
  • How to prepare for surgery icon plus

    Your consultant will discuss what’s involved, including any risks, and advise you of anything you need to prepare before the procedure.

    If there is any infection present, this will need to be treated and resolved before your operation.

    If you don’t have an infection, antibiotics may also be given as a precaution to aid your body’s defence during your surgery.
  • After surgery icon plus

    You may be advised to lie on your front in a prone position for one to three days after surgery. Our dedicated care team will be on hand to make sure you are comfortable and to support your recovery while you stay with us.

    Your consultant will advise when it’s the right time to return to your normal routine, including work. Physiotherapy may also be recommended. Further MRI scans are often carried out following surgery to monitor the success of your treatment.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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