Total pelvic exenteration

Last revised by Aneta Kecler-Pietrzyk on 21 Apr 2020

Total pelvic exenteration refers to extensive surgical resection of pelvic structures to treat locally advanced or recurrent pelvic malignancies. It is performed to obtain optimal excision of tumor radical margins which can be difficult in pelvis given proximity and often local invasion of adjacent organs.

Total pelvic exenteration is most commonly performed to treat rectal cancer. Less often cervical, vaginal, prostate or bladder cancers are treated using this technique as well as locally advanced pelvic sarcoma.

Resection includes the rectum, urinary bladder and internal reproductive organs (prostate/seminal vesicles in males; and uterus, ovaries and vagina in females). At the time of the procedure, an ileal conduit and end colostomy are formed.

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