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Colorectal Dis. 2005 Jan;7(1):70-3.

Outcomes after placement of colorectal stents.

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Department of Surgery, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.



Colonic stents are increasingly used to palliate or alleviate large bowel obstruction in patients with colon cancer and other obstructing lesions in whom a definitive surgical procedure is inappropriate. We report on the outcomes of a large group of patients who underwent deployment of a colon stent in a single institution by a single operator.


This was a retrospective observational cohort study of all patients undergoing colonic stenting between September 1995 and May 2002. Data collected included nature of pathology, type of stent used, procedure morbidity, patient survival and details of any definitive procedures performed after stenting.


One hundred and seven patients were evaluated (58 male) with a median age of 75 years (range 36-99 years). A total of 112 stents were successfully deployed (46 as an emergency). Twelve patients had double stents inserted coaxially and overlapping. In 7 patients the stent could not be safely deployed. Eighty-seven patients had colorectal cancer, 13 patients had an extra-luminal malignancy, 5 had diverticular strictures and in 2 patients the pathology was unknown. At last review (May 2002) 18 patients were alive, 82 patients had died and 7 patients had been lost to follow-up. Of those patients who died, the median survival after stenting alone was 6 weeks (range 4 days-36 weeks). Ten patients underwent subsequent definitive surgery. Stent complications included, 2 colonic perforations, 3 stent occlusions and 4 stent migrations.


Colonic stenting can be used effectively, with acceptable morbidity, to manage patients presenting with large bowel obstruction. In a smaller number of patients colon stents may safely temporize symptoms while definitive surgery is planned.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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