Procedures / Stenting
It is a therapeutic procedure to prevent contraction or collapse of a tubular organ by inserting a stent. A stent is a hollow device that prevents tubular organs (such as the oesophagus or the colon) from collapsing. It is usually inserted by endoscopic technique.
Why is endoscopic stenting performed?
Stents are firm, hollow devices made of either metal, plastic or some other synthetic material and are used for various indications. Obstructive jaundice (either benign or cancerous) is one the most common indications for endoscopic stenting. Endoscopic stenting plays a key role in the treatment of malignant obstructing lesions (MOL) in the GI tract. Stenting can also be done for management of bile leaks.
How to prepare
Your doctor will ask you about any additional medical condition besides the one you are presenting with. If yes, your doctor will first treat that condition or wait for the condition to slightly improve. Once you are fit for surgery, you are recommended to do following things
- Do not take aspirin or other blood-thinning drugs.
- You may be asked about smoking as it may take additional sedative quantity to make you unconscious.
- Avoid solid food intake at least 10-12 hours before the procedure
- Avoiding drinking at least 5-6 hours before the procedure.
What can you expect?
The bile flow may be blocked by strictures of the bile duct, gallstones (hard objects made up of minerals or pigments) or tumours. Stents are placed to widen the constricted area of the bile duct to allow the smooth flow of bile. An endoscope is used to put the stent inside the blocked bile duct.
Stent placement may reduce your symptoms due to the obstruction such as jaundice. It may also improve your liver function and reduce back and abdominal pain.
Possible side effects
There are several side effects associated with endoscopic stunting. These include;
- Injury to the intestine,
- Infections [cholangitis (inflammation of the bile ducts), cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) and pancreatitis]
- Excessive bleeding
Side effects specific to the stent include intestinal perforation, migration of the stent, and occlusion (blockage).