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How do you prepare for a GI stent surgery?

Updated: Jul 7, 2023

What are GI stents?

Stents are a small piece of metal that are temporarily placed inside a tubular organ or a blood vessel to relieve obstruction. Certain cancerous tumours, cysts, or fistulas often cause obstruction in the gastro-intestinal tract, thereby preventing passage of food and water. Symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting precede major complications, which usually alerts the patient to suspect a medical issue. Thereby, these obstructions need immediate medical attention as they can soon cause peritonitis (abdominal infection) and obstruct blood supply consequently resulting in tissue death.

One of the best ways to tackle this is to perform a GI stenting procedure which is an inpatient procedure in most of the hospitals. Majority of the doctors prefer this approach as stenting is proven to be several folds more effective than traditional therapy. One must always ensure that they’re receiving medical treatment from qualified physicians and surgeons, especially procedures of this nature as they demand credible expertise and experience.

Since stenting involves exploring narrow tubes of the digestive system surrounded by soft tissue, one needs to be very careful so as to prevent damage to organs. Before performing a stenting procedure, the physicians will need to have prior knowledge about certain things in order to avoid mistakes and successfully carry out the procedure.

What are the prerequisites for a GI stent?

The difficulty of placing a GI stent largely depends on the area of obstruction. Constrictions in the oesophagus are relatively easy to treat, as opposed to those in the intestines which pose a tortuous route to access them. Hence, a physician must be well equipped with procedures such as:

  1. Stenosis dilation

  2. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

  3. Fluoroscopic image interpretation.

Doctors who are well versed with the ERCP procedure hold a great advantage as they will often be capable of handling colonic malignancies and penetrating duodenal stenosis. Ability to correctly interpret fluoroscopic images also enhances the chances of performing the procedure without any hurdles.

Specific skills required to place a stent

Apart from knowing the common medical procedures, qualified physicians must also have a specific skill set in order to successfully place a stent. Few such skills include: 

  1. Ability to interpret certain non-invasive images like CAT (Computed axial tomography)

  2. Interpretation of radiologic studies with the help of contrast media. 

  3. Removal of existing stents in case of rare pathologies and placement of second stent in case of unsuccessful placement of the first one. 

  4. Rightly understanding the indications for various benign and malignant stenoses in the GIT and anastomotic fistulas. 

  5. Technical skills including ability to perform therapeutic endoscopy, knowledge of use of wires, dilation of stenoses with a balloon catheter or Savary-Gilliard dilator is an essential prerequisite. 

  6. Ability to deal with complications during the procedure (such as bleeding, perforation, etc.) or after the procedures (such as re-obstructions, fistulas, etc.) are very important as most surgeries pose unpredictable challenges. 

  7. Being a reliable team member is yet one of the most important qualities a doctor must have as there are several medical professionals assisting the doctor and great communication makes sure everyone is on the same page.

Conclusion

Effective endoscopic stenting has reduced hospital-stay and medical expenses. It is also greatly preferred for being non-invasive, as these treatments reduce healing time and complications. In addition to stenting, the aid of several new technologies such as ultrasounds and non-invasive imaging, there has been revolutionary improvement in medical care. In procedures such as stenting, improving the quality and design of stents used has also played a role in minimising complications, reducing the need for multiple surgeries, and overall patient care.

How can Mitra help you?

Self-Expanding metallic stents (SEMS) by Mitra industries are a great option for stenting procedures as we curate our product keeping in mind deployment challenges, and work towards improving patient care. We aspire to assist medical professionals perform hurdle-free surgeries and procedures with our products. 

We offer a wide range of stents such as Biliary and pancreatic stents, esophageal stents, duodenal and colorectal stents, etc. Each stent is designed to pose minimal difficulty for the physician while inserting and for the patient during their post-operative care. To know more about our products, please check out our product catalogue

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