Enteral stenting is a nonsurgical outpatient procedure used to alleviate an obstruction caused by a cancerous tumor within the digestive tract, including the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract (esophagus, stomach, and upper part of small intestine or duodenum) and lower GI tract (colon and rectum). Stents are devices that create space so that the patient can continue to eat.
If your doctor has recommended the placement of a stent in your stomach or small bowel to improve your symptoms of a blockage. A stent is a self expanding wire mesh tube that is designed to hold the blocked area in your bowel open.
Enteral Stent Placement
Your doctor will place the stent using an endoscope, which is a long, narrow camera that is inserted via the mouth and will allow him/her to look directly at the area to be treated.
A stent is a hollow tube made from metal or plastic that is used as a support structure to keep an obstructed area of the body open. Enteral stents are used within the esophagus, stomach, duodenum and colon and are routinely placed for obstructions caused by tumors, either to make the patient more comfortable or as a bridge to surgery. Enteral stenting has recently expanded to include management of benign conditions such as leaks, fistulas, and strictures or narrowings in the GI tract.
Esophageal stents are used to treat a variety of benign and malignant esophageal conditions. Benign conditions include strictures (narrowings) caused by peptic ulcers, anastomoses, and radiation, abnormal connections between the trachea and esophagus, perforations, and leaks. Malignant conditions that can be treated with stents include inoperable esophageal cancer.
Duodenal and biliary stents are often used to provide comfort to patients with pancreatic cancer when surgery is not an option. Duodenal stents are placed to allow these patients to eat when the tumor is blocking the intestine.
Stents can be used in colon cancer patients who are going to have surgery to remove a tumor. A stent reduces the pressure in the bowel and allows bowel preparation, which can make surgery safer and improve the chance of a successful outcome. For patients who are not candidates for surgery, a stent relieves the pressure in the bowel to provide relief from symptoms and improve quality of life.
Digestive Care Physicians are all board certified and qualified to perform stent placement. If you have additional questions regarding esophageal, gastric, duodenal, colonic stenting, please call one of our office’s 4 locations in Johns Creek, Cumming, Alpharetta and Lawrenceville, GGA.