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Annals of Surgical Oncology

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Robotic Total Pelvic Exenteration: Video-Illustrated Technique

Ioannis T. Konstantinidis MD, William Chu MD, Federico Tozzi MD, Clayton Lau MD, Mark Wakabayashi MD, MPH, Kevin Chan MD, Byrne Lee MD, FACS
Gynecologic Oncology
Volume 24, Issue 11 / October , 2017



Robotic-assisted total pelvic exenteration (TPE) can offer a minimally invasive approach to a major multi-organ operation.


In this video, we summarize a stepwise approach to robotic TPE in a 70 year-old female Jehovah’s witness with a history of cervical cancer post-chemoradiation and radical hysterectomy who experienced local recurrence at the vaginal cuff involving the rectum and bladder.


The patient was placed in the lithotomy position. A total of six robotic ports were used and the da Vinci Si robotic system was docked between the legs. We proceeded as follows: (1) the abdomen and pelvis were thoroughly explored for evidence of metastatic disease; (2) the pelvic sidewalls were mobilized and bilateral ureters identified; (3) the mesorectal plane was dissected to the level of the levators; (4) the lateral and anterior pelvic structures were completely mobilized, and parametrial tissues were mobilized to the pelvic wall; (5) the bladder was separated from the pubis symphysis, the space of Retzius entered, and the bladder and proximal urethra freed; (6) a perineal incision was made around the vagina, perineal body, and anus, which were excised; (7) an Alloderm mesh secured the pelvic floor, and an omental J flap was mobilized; and (8) a 6 cm incision was utilized for creation of an ileal conduit and a permanent-end colostomy. Final pathology was consistent with recurrent cervical squamous cell carcinoma invading into the vaginal, bladder, and rectal walls. Surgical margins and seven lymph nodes were negative for carcinoma.


Robotic-assisted TPE is technically feasible in a Jehovah’s witness under a multidisciplinary surgical team, even in the setting of prior radical hysterectomy and irradiated tissue.

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