Published online Feb 21, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i7.1115
Revised: September 2, 2005
Accepted: September 12, 2005
Published online: February 21, 2006
AIM: To analyze the major complications after exenteration of gynecological and rectal malignancies.
METHODS: Twenty-two patients with gynecological malignancy and 6 with rectal malignancy underwent pelvic exenteration (PE) between 1996 and 2005. PE was performed for primary malignancy in 71.4% of cases (vulvar cancer in 13, cancer rectal in 5, cervical cancer in 1 and Bartholin’s gland cancer in 1 cases respectively and recurrent malignancy in 28.6% of cases (cervical cancer in 5, ovarian cancer in 1, uterine sarcoma in 1 and rectal cancer in 1 cases respectively). Posterior PE, total PE and anterior PE were most often performed.
RESULTS: Major complications in the operative field involving the urinary tract infection or the wound dehiscence occurred in 12 patients (42.9%). Early complications included massive bleeding from the sacral plexus, adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), thrombophlebitis, acute renal failure, urinary bladder dysfunction, ureter damage, re-operation and pulmonary embolus. Urinary incontinence was observed in 2 women as a late complication. In 1 patient a nephrostomy was performed in 1 patient due to extensive hydronephrosis and 1 patient had complications connected with the gastrointestinal tract. The mortality rate was 7%, of which inter-operative mortality accounted for 3.5%. Major complications often occurred in advanced primary vulvar cancer affecting those with recurrent malignancies.
CONCLUSION: PE is more beneficial to patients with primary vulvar and rectal cancer than to those with recurrent cancer. Knowledge of the inherent complications and morbidity of PE is essential.