Your feelings about pelvic exenteration

You may have many different emotions about pelvic exenteration. This can include stress, anger, anxiety and fear. You may also find it difficult to cope with needing help from others while you are recovering from the operation (surgery). These are all normal feelings. They are part of adjusting to major surgery and uncertainty.

Talking about your emotions is not always easy. But it can help. There are different ways to get the support you need. Try to let others know how you are feeling so they can support you. You can also speak to your specialist nurse about any concerns you may have.

Specialist help

Sometimes it is easier to talk to someone who does not know you. You could ask your cancer doctor or GP to refer you to a counsellor. Some counsellors are specialists in the emotional effects of cancer.

Macmillan’s cancer support specialists can also help. They can advise you about the physical, emotional and financial effects of the cancer and its treatment. They can also tell you more about counselling and let you know about services in your area. Call them free on 0808 808 00 00.

We list organisations you might find helpful below.

Online support

You could get support on the internet through:

  • support groups
  • social networking sites
  • forums
  • chat rooms
  • blogs.

You can use these to ask questions, read stories and share your experience.

Our Online Community is a place where you can talk to others who understand what you are going through. You can join groups relevant to you, start a blog or ask our experts a question.

This has forever changed us, particularly my outlook on life. It has brought us closer and made me see that there is nothing more important than the people you love.

Emma, whose husband Ryan had pelvic exenteration

Other organisations

There are organisations that can offer you practical and emotional support.

Colostomy UK

Provides practical help, support and reassurance to people who have or are about to have a colostomy, their carers, friends, and families.

IA – Ileostomy and Internal Pouch Association

Offers support to help anyone who has had, or is about to have, their colon removed and has an ileostomy or internal pouch.

Urostomy Association

Offers support and advice to anyone who has had, or is about to have, surgery resulting in a urostomy. Also offers support for families and carers.

Bowel Cancer UK

Offers information and support to people affected by bowel cancer.

The HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation

Provides support and information for people having treatment for anal cancer, and their carers and families.

LGBT Foundation

Provides advice, support and information to people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, and their families and friends.


Provides information and support to the LGBT community.

College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists

Has a directory of sex and relationship therapists.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Provides free impartial information to people affected by fertility treatment. Has information about choosing a clinic.

Fertility Friends

An online community for people coping with infertility or adoption.

Fertility Network UK

Provides support for anyone with fertility problems.

Back to Pelvic exenteration in men

Having pelvic exenteration

Pelvic exenteration takes about 8 hours – after the surgery, urine (pee) and stools (poo) will leave your body in a new way.