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Gastrointestinal Stents: Safe and Effective alternative to Surgery or Repetitive Endoscopic Procedures

Stents are used to enlarge/correct the narrowed blood vessels or other channels in the body. In gastroenterology, stents are used by surgeons to open up bile ducts, esophagus, small bowel and colon which may be diseased or infected. Stents help the patient to perform natural activities like eating and drinking.

The gastrointestinal surgery tract extends from the mouth, and ends with the anus. Under normal conditions, the food passes through the gastro-intestinal tract with no hurdles or pain. However, in cancer patients who have trouble with swallowing, digesting and passing stool require immediate correction and treatment. Stents help cancer patients with gastro-intestinal problems to lead a normal life. Stents of different types are used, as per the condition of the patient.

Bile Duct Stents: The bile duct connects the liver and pancreas to the small bowel. Patients suffering from pancreatic or cholangiocarcinoma show reduced flow or total stoppage of bile flow from the pancreas, gallbladder and liver into the small bowel. The plastic or metal stents placed into the bile duct normalize the bile flow. The plastic stents are temporary, and the metallic ones serve on a long-term basis.

Esophageal Stents: Esophagus connects the throat to the stomach. Esophagus is lined with mucous membrane, and helps in swallowing food and liquid content. Esophageal stents are made of plastic or silicone. Patients suffering from esophageal cancer require stents to achieve normal esophageal functions. X-ray and endoscopy help in inserting the stent into the esophagus through the patient’s mouth. The stents help in constricting tumors that grow in esophageal cancer patients.

Duodenal Stents: Duodenum is the top part of the small intestine. Duodenal stents allow for content flow from Duodenum into small intestine. Cancerous tumors may block the duodenum – small intestine path, requiring either surgery of stent placement. Usually, a bypass surgery is suggested is the stent fails to relieve the obstruction.

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Colonic Stents: The large intestine or colon is the last part of the digestive system. Water is absorbed and the waste material is sent out by defecation. Patients suffering from colorectal disease or cancer may find it difficult to digest and to pass stool properly. The stents placed in the colon help to prevent obstruction due to cancerous tumors, and control existing symptoms of bowel obstruction.

The Center for Gastroenterology at Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad provides the best-in-the-class treatments for gastro-intestinal problems. Importantly, all stent placement procedures at our Center for Gastroenterology are undertaken with high success rate. Stents placed in the food pipe, colon, small intestine, bile duct and pancreatic duct prevent obstruction due to cancerous tumors, and control existing symptoms due to any obstruction.