Stenting for large bowel obstruction – evolution of a service in a district general hospital

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

Stenting for obstructing large bowel malignancy is a technique that is gradually increasing in popularity. The two main indications are for palliation and as a ‘bridge to surgery’. Some of the proposed advantages of colonic stenting are safety, reduced morbidity and mortality, avoidance of a stoma and shorter hospital stay.

PATIENTS AND METHODS

This was a retrospective study of consecutive patients who had self-expanding metal stents deployed between February 2001 and June 2006. Data were collected from the MEDITECH electronic integrated healthcare information support system and case note review. Data concerning demographics, primary diagnosis, and location of malignant stricture, indication for stenting, method of stenting, outcome, complications and mortality rates were obtained and analysed on Microsoft Excel.

RESULTS

Colonic stenting was first performed in the Countess of Chester Hospital in 2001. Thirty-two procedures have been performed since then. The median age was 80 years and the majority of cases were palliative (28 of 32), with three of the remaining cases successfully stented as a ‘bridge to surgery’. Initially, this was performed as a radiological procedure; however, the success rate was noted to be better if a surgical endoscopist was also involved. We recorded a 57% clinical success rate in the group of patients that had the colonic stent inserted radiologically; however, the group where this was inserted as a combined radiological and endoscopic procedure yielded a clinical success rate of 78%. We experienced stent-migration in four patients (13%) and rectal perforation in one patient (3%). There was no tumour re-obstruction or stent-related mortality. CONCLUSIONS A colonic stenting service can be introduced into a district general hospital with low morbidity and mortality. A well-motivated team is required and combined endoscopic and radiological approach in our hands appears to offer the best results.

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