A radical (read, draconian) procedure in which the entire body below the waist is surgically amputated at the level of the lumbar vertebrae. Elective hemicorpectomy (HCE) may be the only therapeutic option in certain pelvic and lower extremity malignancies, recalcitrant infections, severe trauma–e.g., complicated open book fractures, and failed pelvic exenteration.
The severe mutilation inherent in the procedure is justified in patients to relieve pain and excise dirty, malodorous lesions, if the patient is willing to accept the loss of faecal continence and sexual activity. Operative hemicorporectomy is likely to fail if the patient lacks emotional and psychological coping mechanisms and the determination and strength to undergo the intensive rehabilitation.
Synonyms Hemicorporectomy, elective HCE, halfectomy, operative HCE, translumbar amputation
Comment I’m fairly certain that corpectomy, NOT corporectomy is etymologically correct, given that the former, corpectomy, is a term that marries corp(us), Latin for body (singular) and ectomy, removal of, in contrast to corporectomy, which would marry copor(a), Latin for bodies (plural) and ectomy. This would seem to make no sense, as one would be saying, removal of the bodies. I’ll be happy to correct this if I’m wrong.