Pelvic exenteration, also known as pelvic clearance, is a major surgical procedure to treat cancer that has spread through the pelvis by removing multiple organs. Typically, this means removing the lower bowel or rectum and the prostate or vagina. The bladder may also be removed.
Pelvic exenteration is usually performed to treat advanced cancer that has spread or come back after previous treatment. This includes:
- Rectal cancer
- Anal cancer
This procedure can cure cancer in some, but it is not suitable for all patients. It is also a major operation and Dr Jamie Murphy will discuss the risks and possible complications before you decide to proceed.
Pelvic exenteration is very lengthy surgery that can take more than eight hours. Colorectal surgeon Dr Jamie Murphy is usually joined by other surgeons such as a urologist who specialises in the urinary tract, and a plastic surgeon specialising to close the wounds associated with this type of surgery.