DALLAS, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. surgeons say a review of cases in which surgeons had to remove the lower portion of the body from the waist down casts favorable light on the procedure.
The rarely performed hemicorporectomy surgical procedure is conducted for conditions such as severe pelvic bone infections and certain cancers or other potentially fatal illnesses, said researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
The review showed the surgery can add years and quality of life to survivors.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Jeffrey Janis, an associate professor of plastic surgery, said the study determined the procedure can be an effective and reasonable consideration in such extreme cases.
Hemicorporectomy rarely has been performed because of the very limited indications for the procedure. But Dr. Robert McClelland, senior author of the study and a professor emeritus of surgery, said the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan may soon increase the frequency of such procedures.
"Though it is impossible to know how the survival rate would compare had these patients not undergone the amputation, given the severe disease involved, it is reasonable to assume they survived longer than they would have without surgery," said Janis. "Most importantly, our survivors reported they were satisfied with their decision to have the procedure."
The study appears in the October issue of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.