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Dis Colon Rectum. 2002 Mar;45(3):401-6.

Self-expandable stent before elective surgery vs. emergency surgery for the treatment of malignant colorectal obstructions: comparison of primary anastomosis and morbidity rates.

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Department of General Surgery, Getafe University Hospital, Madrid, Spain.



At present there are not enough studies that demonstrate the usefulness of self-expandable stents in patients with left-sided malignant colon and rectal obstruction. We evaluated primary anastomosis and morbidity rates obtained with this method in comparison with the results of the emergency surgical treatment.


From February 1994 to November 1999, 72 consecutive patients with left-sided malignant colorectal obstruction were enrolled. Forty-three patients were assigned to the study group (preoperative stent and elective surgical treatment or palliative stent, depending on the assessment of the stage of the tumor) and 29 to the control group (emergency surgical treatment). The resection was not indicated in 18 cases in the study group (after preoperative staging in 17 and intraoperative staging in 1) and in 3 cases in the control group.


In the study group, the obstruction was relieved in 41 cases (95 percent) after the stent placement. Of 26 patients who underwent surgical treatment, a primary anastomosis was possible in 22 (84.6 vs. 41.4 percent in the control group, P = 0.0025), with lower need for a colostomy (15.4 vs. 58.6 percent in the control group). The anastomotic failure rate was similar and the reintervention rate was lower (0 vs. 17 percent, P = 0.014). The total stay (14.23 vs. 18.52 days; P = 0.047), the intensive care unit stay (0.3 vs. 2.9 days; P = 0.015), and the number of patients with severe complications (11.6 vs. 41.2 percent; P = 0.008) were significantly lower in the study group.


In our patients with left-sided malignant colon and rectal obstruction, placement of a preoperative stent prevented 17 (94 percent) of 18 of unnecessary operations and a large number of colostomies after elective surgery. These results were obtained with a lower severe complication rate as well as a shorter hospital stay.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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