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Semin Surg Oncol. 1999 Oct-Nov;17(3):206-12.

Pelvic exenteration for carcinoma of the colon and rectum.

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Department of Surgery, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center of Boston and Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02135, USA.


Carcinoma of the colon and rectum is one of the most common causes of cancer deaths in the United States. The mortality of patients treated by surgery alone is 55% within 5 years of surgery. Despite efforts to decrease local recurrence and their concomitant problems of pain and disability, a significant number of patients will still have pelvic recurrences that carry a significant morbidity. In selected cases, pelvic exenteration may cure or provide palliation of the symptoms of colorectal carcinoma. Pre-operative evaluation is performed to detect signs of unresectability. During surgery, exploration is performed for evidence of metastases to the liver, omentum, and peritoneum, followed by an assessment of the local extent of the tumor. The margins of resection must be clear even if resection of contiguous organs or bony structures is necessary. The urinary tract is resected with an ileal loop, sigmoid or transverse colon conduits, or continent urinary diversion. Depending upon the involvement of neighboring structures, exenterative pelvic surgery can be modified for organ preservation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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