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Application of rectal stents for palliation of obstructing rectosigmoid cancer

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Background: The rationale of palliative endoscopic treatment is to avoid a colostomy in patients with advanced disease and limited life expectancy. This study was conducted to evaluate the role of endoscopic stent implantation for palliation of obstructing rectal cancer.

Methods: Overall, 19 patients (aged 47–87 years) with nonresectable or metastatic rectal cancer were treated by stent insertion after laser recanalization or dilation. Three types of stents, i.e., plastic tubes (n= 8), self-expanding mesh stents (n= 6), and endocoil stents (n= 5), were used to maintain luminal patency.

Results: Endoscopic stent implantation was successfully performed in all 19 patients. Long-term luminal patency and satisfactory bowel function were achieved in 16 of 19 patients (84%). After a median follow-up of 6 months, eight of the patients have died and eight are still alive without evidence of recurrent obstruction. Dislocation of the endoprosthesis occurred in two of eight plastic tubes and one of five mesh stents. Recurrent obstruction due to tumor ingrowth was only observed in patients treated with self-expanding mesh stents (n= 2). In spite of reinsertion and laser therapy a colostomy was required in three of 19 patients. There was no evidence of treatment failure in five patients who received endocoil stents. None of the patients experienced serious complications related to the endoscopic procedure.

Conclusions: Endoscopic stent implantation seems to be a safe and efficient palliative approach to selected patients with obstructing rectal cancer. Currently, self-expanding coil stents are superior to other devices because of lower risk of dislocation and tumor ingrowth.

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Received: 10 May 1996/Accepted: 11 November 1996

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Dohmoto, M., Hünerbein, M. & Schlag, P. Application of rectal stents for palliation of obstructing rectosigmoid cancer . Surg Endosc 11 , 758 –761 (1997).

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