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Urinary diversion after pelvic exenteration for gynecologic malignancies
  1. Carlos Martínez-Gómez1,2,
  2. Martina Aida Angeles1,
  3. Alejandra Martinez1,2,
  4. Bernard Malavaud3 and
  5. Gwenael Ferron1,4
  1. 1 Department of Surgical Oncology, Institut Claudius Regaud – Institut Universitaire du Cancer de Toulouse – Oncopole, Toulouse, France
  2. 2 Team 1, Tumor Immunology and Immunotherapy, Cancer Research Center of Toulouse (CRCT) – INSERM UMR 1037, Toulouse, France
  3. 3 Department of Urology, Institut Claudius Regaud – Institut Universitaire du Cancer de Toulouse – Oncopole, Toulouse, France
  4. 4 Team 19, ONCOSARC – Oncogenesis of Sarcomas, Cancer Research Center of Toulouse (CRCT) – INSERM UMR 1037, Toulouse, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gwenael Ferron, Department of Surgical Oncology, Institut Claudius Regaud- Institut Universitaire du Cancer Toulouse- Oncopole, 1 Avenue Irène Joliot-Curie, 31059 Toulouse, France; ferron.gwenael{at}


Pelvic exenteration combines multiple organ resections and functional reconstruction. Many techniques have been described for urinary reconstruction, although only a few are routinely used. The aim of this review is to focus beyond the technical aspects and the advantages and disadvantages of each technique, and to include a critical analysis of continent techniques in the gynecologic and urologic literature. Selecting a technique for urinary reconstruction must take into account the constraints entailed by the natural history of the disease, patient characteristics, healthcare institution, and surgeon experience. In gynecologic oncology, the Bricker ileal conduit is the most commonly employed diversion, followed by the self-catheterizable pouch and orthotopic bladder replacement. Continent and non-continent diversions present similar immediate and long-term complication rates, including lower tract urinary infections and pyelonephritis (5–50%), ureteral stricture (3–27%), urolithiasis (5–25%), urinary fistula (5%), and more rarely, vitamin B12 deficiency and metabolic acidosis. Urinary incontinence for the ileal orthotopic neobladder (50%), stoma-related complications for the Bricker ileal conduit (24%), difficulty with self-catheterization (18%) for the continent pouch, and induction of secondary malignancy for the ureterosigmoidostomy (3%) are the most relevant technique-related complications following urinary diversion. The self-catheterizable pouch and orthotopic bladder require a longer learning curve from the surgical team and demand adaptation from the patient compared with the ileal conduit. Quality of life between different techniques remains controversial, although it would seem that young patients may benefit from continent diversions. We consider that centralization of pelvic exenteration in referral centers is crucial to optimize the oncologic and functional outcomes of complex ablative reconstructive surgery.

  • quality of life (PRO)/palliative care
  • surgical stomas
  • neoplasm recurrence
  • local
  • urinary bladder neoplasms
  • uterine cervical neoplasms

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  • Twitter @cmartgomez, @AngelesFite, @Alejandra

  • Contributors All authors have contributed significantly to warrant authorship.

  • Funding MAA: grant support from "la Caixa” Foundation, Barcelona (Spain), ID 100010434. The fellowship code is LCF/BQ/EU18/11650038. The rest of the authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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