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Expandable metal stents in the palliation of malignant dysphagia and oesophageal-respiratory fistulae



Expandable metal stents in the palliation of malignant dysphagia and oesophageal-respiratory fistulae



Irish Medical Journal 94(9): 270-272



The use of self expandable metal stents in the palliation of malignant dysphagia and oesophago-respiratory fistulae has increased in recent years. The aim of this study was to report a comprehensive 4 year audit of a Specialist Unit's experience with the expandable stent. 200 expandable metal stents were deployed for palliation of non operable malignant dysphagia or fistulae. Per-operative, early (<30 days) and late (>30 days) complications specific to the stent were documented. Stents were successfully positioned in all patients. There was no mortality associated with the insertion and no perforation. Dysphagia was palliated initially in 93 per cent of cases. The mean dysphagia score improved significantly from 3.2 to 1.5 (p<0.01). This significant benefit persisted at 3 months and 6 months of follow-up. The commonest complication was stent migration (5.5%) and 23 patients (11%) required a second stent insertion. Oesophago-respiratory fistulae were successfully palliated in all cases. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of self expandable metallic stents in the palliation of non operable malignant dysphagia and oesophago-respiratory fistulae. The minimal risk of significant complications and low incidence of reintervention should establish this approach as first line palliation in these patients.

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Accession: 046034635

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PMID: 11820518


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