A pelvic exenteration takes place when a cancer has spread or returned to an area of the pelvis. Organs that may have to be removed during this surgical procedure include the lower colon, rectum and bladder; for women, the cervix, vagina, ovaries and nearby lymph nodes; for men, the prostate. Artificial openings (stoma) will be made for urine and stool to flow from the body to a collection bag. If two stomas are created, this is called a total pelvic exenteration.
This procedure is very rare and is only done when no other treatment options are available.