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.
Recent literature has shown that pelvic exenteration can provide long-term survival for patients with locally advanced primary rectal carcinoma. The 5-year survival rate of patients undergoing pelvic exenteration following complete resection of disease was 59·3%. A number of factors have been shown to influence the survival rates following a pelvic exenteration procedure. These include age, the presence of metastatic disease, lymph node status, circumferential resection margin, local recurrence of disease, and the need for neoadjuvant therapy. 
- Radwan RW, et al. Determinants of survival following pelvic exenteration for primary rectal cancer. Br J Surg. 2015 Jun 11. doi: 10.1002/bjs.9841.
- Berman L, Aversa J, Abir F, Longo WE (July 2005). "Management of disorders of the posterior pelvic floor". Yale J Biol Med 78 (4): 211–21. PMC 2259151. PMID 16720016.
- Brunschwig A: Complete excision of the pelvic viscera for advanced carcinoma. Cancer 1948; 1: 177.
- med/3332 at eMedicine