Should pelvic exenteration for symptomatic relief in gynaecology malignancies be offered?
Pathiraja P., Sandhu H., Instone M., Haldar K., Kehoe S.
OBJECTIVE: To review the outcomes of pelvic exenterative surgery done with a palliative intent and evaluate its role in relapsed gynaecology malignancies. METHOD: This is a retrospective cohort study between April 2009 and May 2012 in Oxford Gynaecological Cancer Centre. Patients were identified from the oncology surgical database. RESULTS: 18 patients were identified with a mean age 54 (26-79) years, who underwent surgery for symptomatic recurrent cancer. All except one patient had radiotherapy prior to surgery. 12 patients had cervical cancer, five had vulval cancer and one had endometrial cancer. About half of the patients had major surgical complications; however, majority was patients satisfied with the outcome. CONCLUSION: Pelvic exenteration in this context carries considerable morbidity and in this series achieved good symptom control with a mean overall survival of 11 months. Careful patient selection, adequate counselling and ongoing support are imperative of successful outcome.