A gastroenterologist may use stents (hollow tubes) to treat the symptoms of bowel obstruction, including obstructions caused by colorectal cancer. The stent props up the affected part of the colon to allow fluids and food to pass normally.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING STENT PLACEMENT?
The stent is placed during a colonoscopy procedure. After the doctor guides the stent to the affected part of the colon, the tube expands and increases the diameter of the intestine to its normal width.
WHY ARE STENTS PRESCRIBED?
Stents can often help relieve symptoms of bowel obstructions for long-term periods.
However, if a tumor grows back or the stent begins to move, the gastroenterologist will need to replace the stent, or possibly recommend laser treatment or surgery if the patient’s symptoms are extreme.