Expandable metal stent placement for benign colorectal obstruction: Outcomes for 23 cases

A. J. Small, T. M. Young-Fadok, T. H. Baron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Background: Self-expanding metal stents (SEMS) are an established treatment for palliation of malignant colorectal strictures and as a bridge to surgery for acute malignant colonic obstruction. Patients with benign colonic strictures may benefit from stent placement, but little data exist for this indication. Methods: All cases of colonic stent placement identified from a prospectively collected gastrointestinal database from April 1999 to August 2006 were reviewed. During the study period, 23 patients with benign obstructive disease underwent endoscopic SEMS placement. The etiologies of the stricture were diverticular/inflammatory (n = 16), postsurgical anastomotic (n = 3), radiation-induced (n = 3), and Crohn's (n = 1) disease. All strictures were located in the left colon. Five patients had an associated colonic fistula. Uncovered Enteral Wallstents or Ultraflex Precision Colonic stents (Boston Scientific) were endoscopically placed in all but one patient. Results: Stent placement was technically successful for all 23 patients, and obstruction was relieved for 22 patients (95%). Major complications occurred in 38% of the patients including migration (n = 2), reobstruction (n = 4), and perforation (n = 2). Of these major complications, 87% occurred after 7 days. Four patients did not undergo an operation. Of the 19 patients who underwent planned surgical resection, 16 were successfully decompressed and converted from an emergent operation to an elective one with a median time to surgical resection of 12 days (range, 2 days to 18 months). Surgery was delayed more than 30 days after stent placement for six of these patients. Of the 19 patients who underwent a colectomy, 8 (42%) did not need a stoma after stent insertion. Conclusions: SEMS can effectively decompress high-grade, benign colonic obstruction, thereby allowing elective surgery. The use of SEMS can offer medium-term symptom relief for benign colorectal strictures, but this approach is associated with a high rate of delayed complications. Thus, if elective surgery is planned, data from this small study suggest that it should be performed within 7 days of stent placement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-462
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical Endoscopy and Other Interventional Techniques
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2008


  • Acute colonic obstruction
  • Benign colorectal strictures
  • Expandable metal stent
  • SEMS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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