Psychosexual adjustment following pelvic exenteration

B L Andersen, N F Hacker
Obstetrics and Gynecology 1983, 61 (3): 331-8
Fifteen pelvic exenteration patients from 2 institutions participated in semistructured interviews and objective assessment to examine postoperative psychologic, social, and sexual functioning. Analyses of variance indicated significant differences between the sexually active and nonactive patients and the patients with a neovagina and those with no vaginal capacity only in the area of sexual functioning, not in psychologic or social adjustment. Descriptive statistics for the entire group of patients provide a view of psychosocial adjustment for the average pelvic exenteration patient. Long after such patients are asymptomatic and clinically free of disease, they appear mildly distressed and depressed. However, these women report active and satisfactory levels of social and free-time activities. Sexual functioning continues as the area of greatest disruption for these patients and, as a group, they resemble severely sexually dysfunctional healthy women. This investigation provides a substantive look at the post-treatment life circumstances of these patients and offers a data base for future investigations.

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