After the pelvic exenteration operation, you will be in an intensive care or high-dependency unit for the first few days. You will probably be in hospital for about two to three weeks.
When you wake up after the operation, you will have dressings on your tummy (abdomen).
You may also have the following:
- A drip going into a vein in your arm or neck (intravenous infusion). This will give you food and fluids until you are able to eat and drink again. It may also be used to give you painkillers.
- A fine tube going into your back (epidural). This may be used to give you drugs that numb the nerves and stop you feeling sore.
- A fine tube that passes down your nose and into your stomach or small intestine. This is called a nasogastric tube. It allows any fluids in the stomach to be removed, so you don't feel sick. You may need this for a few days.
- One or more drainage tubes coming from your wound to collect any extra fluid or blood. These will be removed when the amount of fluid draining has reduced.
- A bag covering your colostomy.
- A bag covering your urostomy or a tube coming from your urostomy (depending on the type of urostomy).
- If you’ve had vaginal reconstruction, you will also have drains and bandages on the part of your body where tissue was taken from to make the new vagina.