Endoscopic stenting of colonic tumors
Self-expandable metal stents (SEMS) are useful for the non-surgical relief of malignant colonic obstruction. They may be used both as a palliative measure and as a pre-operative bridge to facilitate a one-stage surgical resection of primary colonic tumours. SEMS may be placed endoscopically or by interventional radiologists without the use of endoscopy. In experienced centres SEMS can be successfully placed in approximately 90% of cases. Although it is known that the placement of these devices is feasible, there are no prospective trials comparing stent placement for colonic obstruction to routine surgical care. Additionally, there are no studies comparing the outcome of the method of placement (endoscopic versus radiological). This chapter reviews the types of expandable metal stent used for treatment of colonic obstruction, the indications for their insertion, their methods of insertion, and outcomes following insertion. Future research directions using expandable stents for colonic tumours are also addressed.