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The role of pelvic exenteration for treatment of pelvic malignancy--a nine-year experience.

Pelvic exenteration offers the last chance for some women with gynecological and rectal malignancy. A series of 23 patients who underwent pelvic exenteration for local advanced gynecological and rectal malignancies between 1996 and 2004 were retrospectively reviewed. The exenteration was performed because of vulvar cancer in 14 patients and other pelvic malignancies in nine cases: rectal cancer in four cases, in three cases cervical cancer, in one case ovarian cancer and in one case uterine sarcoma. Nine patients developed major complications of the operative field involving the urinary tract or the wound. Early complications included massive bleeding from the sacral plexus in two cases (one patient died during surgery), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in one case and thrombophlebitis in one case. Urinary incontinence was observed in two women as a late complication. Only one patient had a complication connected with the gastrointestinal tract. Twenty-two patients were followed-up. In the group of patients with vulvar cancer five women died after 4-29 months because of recurrence of disease. The nine surviving patients are still being followed-up and are without disease; survival time ranges from 6-74 months. In the group of patients with other malignancies four women died.

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