Various different diseases can cause blockages of the GI tract. Both cancerous and inflammatory processes may result in narrowing in the esophagus, stomach, intestines and colon. Sometimes patients require surgeries to remove areas of blocked bowel and then reconnect the pieces. However a less invasive and very effective option is endoscopic lumenal stenting. This is the idea using an endoscope to place a metal stent (expandable tube) inside the GI tract across the area of blockage to stretch it open. Various stents are available to successfully treat blockages and this can be done safely, quickly as an outpatient procedure.
The endoluminal stenting procedure is one that is used to manage blockages or leaks in the gastrointestinal system of the body. Endoluminal stents can be placed in the esophagus, stomach, small intestines, and colon. This procedure is approved for both cancerous and non-cancerous blockages.
If you have a blockage in your esophagus, stomach, small intestines, or colon, your doctor may recommend that you have endoluminal stenting done to resolve the problem. Before suggesting this treatment option, the medical professional will take a thorough medical history and determine where the blockage is and how severe it might be.
It’s always a good idea to ask questions of your physician before agreeing to a procedure. A few questions that might guide that conversation are listed below:
All endoluminal stenting procedures are performed with the patient under anesthesia – thus they will not feel or remember the procedure. The endoluminal stenting procedure is placed with the use of an endoscope, which is a thin, narrow tube with a camera, light, and various instruments. If a stent is being placed in the esophagus, stomach or small intestines then the endoscope will be place into the patient’s mouth and run down the level of the blockage. If the stent will be going into the colon, the endoscope will instead go in through the rectum. In some cases, fluoroscopy, an imaging technology, will be used to precisely guide the stent placement.
Once the endoscope has been inserted, a wire will be inserted through the area that has a blockage. At that time, the stent will be deployed over the wire to treat the blockage. In some situations, dilation may be done on the blocked area before the stent is properly placed.
In most cases, the placement of a stent is done on an outpatient basis. That means that you will stay at the medical facility for a few hours after the procedure is over. This allows medical personnel the ability to watch your vital signs. You will need someone to drive you home after the procedure, and should avoid any major activity for the duration of the day.
Are you interested in learning more about endoluminal stenting, or other treatment options? We invite you to contact us to learn more. Dr. Prashant Kedia is a therapeutic endoscopist and gastroenterologist serving patients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond. Call today to schedule an appointment at (214) 941-6891.