Esophageal stents: When and how

Toufic Kachaamy, Rahul Pannala

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Esophageal stents are devices used to alleviate dysphagia and treat leaks and perforations. Successful esophageal stenting requires definition of the abnormal anatomy such as stricture length or location of the leak, proper stent selection and deployment. This requires detailed knowledge of characteristics of the currently available stents. Self-expanding metal stents whether fully or partially covered have become the mainstay of treatment of esophageal cancer-related dysphagia as they provide quick relief of symptoms and have a favorable safety and efficacy profile, compared to other modalities such as radiation, laser, and argon plasma coagulation. They are also the initial treatment of choice for both malignant and benign fistulae. Stents are also used in benign refractory strictures but long-term stricture resolution rates are low in this setting. Fully covered metal stents are relatively easier to remove compared to partially covered stents; optimal time interval for removal depends on the indication for stenting and the clinical status of the patient. Stent related adverse events include chest pain, reflux, migration, and recurrent obstruction. Serious adverse events occur in less than 5% with procedure-related mortality of less than 2%. Techniques such as placement of hemostatic clips, Over The Scope clips, and endoscopic suturing are being used to decrease the migration risk but the optimal approach has not been defined. Antireflux measures are needed when a stent is placed across the gastroesophageal junction. Stents with antireflux designs do not appear to offer additional benefit compared to the conventional stent designs. Newer stent designs including biodegradable, drug eluting and radioactive stents are currently being investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
JournalMinerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Deglutition disorders
  • Esophageal neoplasms
  • Esophageal stenosis
  • Fistula
  • Self expandable metallic stents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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