Tarlov Cysts: Frequently Asked Questions

Some patients will need a dedicated MRI of the sacrum or flexion/extension x-rays of the lumbar spine to look for instability.

Our office will do any necessary pre-authorization and contact you if there is anything you must do.

Surgery is scheduled either at Pine Creek Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, Medical City Dallas Hospital in Dallas, Texas or St. Luke’s South in Overland Park, Kansas. Patient needs and insurance coverage will determine the location.

Generally three to four days.

For example, if your surgery is planned for a Wednesday, this is a typical day by day plan.

If you have not met Dr. Feigenbaum in person, you will need to travel to Texas either on Sunday or early Monday, meet Dr. Feigenbaum on Monday and do any pre-admission items at the hospital, have surgery on Wednesday, be discharged to the hotel on Friday or Saturday, and be seen in the office for a post-operative appointment on Friday. If you are doing well, it may be possible to move your appointment earlier. You can plan to travel home after your post-operative appointment or the day after your visit.

If you have already met Dr. Feigenbaum, you will need to travel to Texas on early Tuesday so that you can do any pre-admission items with the hospital on Tuesday; these are walk-in appointments, but please arrive before 4 P.M.

Local patients: are seen at 3 weeks, 3 and 6 months, and one and two years after surgery. The post-operative appointment is mostly with the nurse. An MRI is done at 3 months and one and two years after surgery. Post-operative surveys or questionnaires are filled out by patients at 3 and 6 months and one and two years after the surgery.

Out of town patients: are seen in the office approximately one week after surgery. An MRI is done at 3 months and one and two years after surgery. Post-operative surveys or questionnaires are filled out by patients at 3 and 6 months and one and two years after the surgery. These items need to be mailed to our main office in Texas to be reviewed by Dr. Feigenbaum.

These unique cysts are the nerves and therefore are not removed but rather opened, explored and treated under an operating microscope while the nerves are continuously monitored. For other types of cysts such as a meningeal diverticulum it is possible to resect the cyst as long as there are no nerves attached.

In your consultation, Dr. Feigenbaum may have mentioned a “man-hole” cover. This plate looks like a clear plastic mesh and is made of a polymer called poly L-lactide-co-glycolide. Over a few years is breaks down to water and your body will absorb it. Over time your body will form a tough scar on top of where the plate used to be.

While the recovery can be a long one and very different than other types of surgery there are some things you can do to make it the best possible recovery.

  • Follow all your post-operative instructions
  • Do not smoke
  • Maintain a good support system of family and friends
  • Follow your restrictions
  • Have a positive outlook and have a motivation to get better
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet to obtain proper nutrition
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Don’t spend too much time focusing or talking about your pain or symptoms
  • Have realistic expectations and be patient with yourself and the recovery
  • Walk daily as you tolerate

We provide a cushion to our patients during their visit in our office that can be purchased on line. It is called a “Tush-Cush.” The “car-cush” size is quite ideal. It is available at tushcush.com or amazon.com.

Dr. Feigenbaum has treated over 1,500 Tarlov and meningeal cyst patients.

No, but some patients state they have headaches, and that after surgery, it decreases. Some patients tighten their jaw because of pain which can lead to headaches. A previous surgical patient found it helpful to use a mouth guard during sleep to relieve symptoms.

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tarlov cyst surgeons

tarlov cyst institute -pine creek

9080 Harry Hines Blvd.
Ste 220
Dallas, Texas 75235

Phone (214) 351-8450
Fax (214) 351-8451


Mission : The Tarlov Cyst Disease Foundation is a volunteer-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation dedicated to the research, improved diagnosis and development of successful treatments and outcomes for symptomatic Tarlov cysts.

The Foundation is incorporated exclusively for scientific, educational, and charitable purposes that will seek to improve the level of understanding, diagnosis and treatment of Tarlov cysts.