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Enteral Stent Placement

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.

For most patients, the placement of a stent is performed as a minimally invasive, outpatient endoscopic procedure with an overnight hospital stay. For esophageal or swallowing difficulties, stent placement typically offers immediate and long lasting relief.

The multidisciplinary experts within the Therapeutic Endoscopy Center of Excellence are here to offer you the best possible care. To learn more about enteral stent placement or schedule an appointment, please call (206) 223-2319.

Esophageal stents

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

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.

Pancreatic cancer can sometimes cause pressure on the bile duct and block it, which can cause jaundice. Biliary stents are used to treat obstructive jaundice and may be used palliatively or pre-operatively along with neo-adjuvant therapy.

Colon stents

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.

What if I have questions or concerns about enteral stents?

Our staff and nurses are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They can be reached at (206) 223-2319.