Complications of Pelvic Exenteration

James G. Jakowatz, David Porudominsky, Daniel U. Riihimaki, Margaret Kemeny, William A. Kokal, Patricia S. Braly, José J. Terz, J. David Beatty

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This report is based on a retrospective review of 104 patients who had undergone pelvic exenteration for advanced malignancy over a 29-year period (1956 to 1984, inclusive). Fifty-one patients (49%) developed major complications of the operative field involving the gastrointestinal tract (fistula or obstruction), the urinary tract (fistula, infection, or obstruction), or the wound (abscess, dehiscence/necrosis, or hemorrhage). No association was identified between the complication rate and organ of primary disease, extent of disease, tumor histology, or extent of resection. Patients receiving pelvic radiotherapy prior to exenteration had a much higher complication rate (39/58, 67%) than patients having had no radiotherapy (12/46, 26%). Reconstruction of the irradiated pelvis after exenteration by omental flap, colonic advancement, and/or myocutaneous flaps decreased the complication rate from 82% (27/33) to 48% (12/25). The operative mortality of pelvic exenteration was 2.9% and the actuarial five-year survival rate was 27%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1261-1265
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1985
Externally publishedYes


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