It is a procedure that involves removing a tumor of the gluteus maximus, also known as the buttock. This is done while preserving the surrounding bone and soft tissues.

Buttock MRI

What is a Limb-Sparing Surgery of the Gluteus Maximus?

The gluteus maximus (buttock) is a common site for high-and low-grade soft tissue sarcomas confined to the gluteus maximus. The gluteus maximus is a “quiet area”, meaning symptoms typically do not show until the mass becomes extremely large. Traditionally, low- and high-grade soft tissue sarcomas of the buttock were treated with a posterior cutaneous flap hemipelvectomy (amputation). Advances in limb-sparing surgical procedures have permitted resections with safe margins in most sarcomas and have reduced the need for hemipelvectomy for tumors in this region. About 90% of soft tissue sarcomas arising in the buttock can be resected and treated adequately by a limb-sparing surgery. 

Contraindications for saving the limb may include neurovascular invasion, infection, pathological fracture, invasion of the pelvis, extensive disease, contamination from a poorly performed biopsy, recurrent disease.


What’s involved in the technique?

What you can expect afterwards

After your surgery you will spend a few nights in the hospital and then will be recuperating at home. Various pain protocols and nerve blocks are used to minimize pain. Mostly all patients are very comfortable after the surgery. For the first few days you will ice the area and keep it elevated to reduce swelling. You will return to the office 2 weeks after surgery. Once cleared, you will subsequently start physical therapy. We usually prescribe specific physical therapy protocols 3 times a week for 12 weeks after surgery to gradually strengthen muscles. Strengthening with significant resistance after sufficient range of motion is achieved as determined by Dr. Wittig. There may be an ultimate weight limit imposed upon you depending on various factors.  

You will be monitored periodically with MRI imaging over the course of 5 years to ensure there are no signs of recurrence. You will have follow up appointments every 4 months for the first 2 years, then every 6 months for the next 2 years, and then once a year. Since the integrity of the limb has been restored to full or almost full, recovery is anticipated provided the patient adheres to strict physical therapy.

Types Of Physical Therapy

Buttockectomy Video

Dr. James Wittig narrates a video illustrating the surgical technique for a buttockectomy. | WATCH VIDEO