Pelvic exenteration is a type of operation that involves removing the bladder or part of the lower bowel (rectum), or both, and the internal reproductive organs (the ovaries, womb, cervix and vagina). This operation is only done if there are no signs of cancer anywhere else in the body.
Only specialist surgeons, who are trained and experienced in doing this type of surgery, should carry out pelvic exenteration. You may be referred to a specialist centre for the operation.
It is important to discuss the benefits and risks with your surgeon, before making a decision about the operation. This is a major operation, but can cure the cancer in some people.
Before the operation, you will be referred to a specialist cancer nurse. They will give you information and emotional support. In some units, the specialist nurse may be called your key worker.