Diagram showing the area removed in a pelvic exenteration in a female
The procedure leaves the person with a permanent colostomy and urinary diversion. In women, the vagina, cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and in some cases the vulva are removed. In men, the prostate is removed.
Pelvic exenteration is most commonly used in cases of very advanced or recurrent cancer, in which less radical surgical options are not technically possible or would not be sufficient to remove all the tumor. This procedure is performed for many types of cancer including genitourinary and colorectal cancers.