A colorectal stent is a flexible metallic tube, specially designed to hold open your intestine that is blocked or partially blocked due to disease.
Food and fluids you eat move along the digestive tract from your mouth to your stomach and on into your intestines. The body absorbs what it can use and the waste moves on to the rectum where it is eliminated.
To reduce or eliminate a blockage in your large bowel a stent can be inserted. Once it is in place in the blocked area, it is designed to expand and open the channel so waste products can continue to move into the rectum.
If placed successfully, this can avoid the need for an operation at this time.
Colorectal stent insertion
This will take place in the x-ray department. You will be given a mild sedative before beginning the procedure to help you relax. If you have pain, discomfort or nausea let the doctor know as other medication can be given. The stent device is mounted on a small tube called a delivery system. This is gently introduced through the rectum and placed through the blocked area of bowel. Once correctly placed, it is designed to expand and open up the channel.
The stent is made from a special medical grade metal which will not rust. Once in place you should not feel it but if you can inform your doctor. It is visible on x-ray but should not interfere with future x-rays. You should inform the staff if you have to have any x-rays, CT scan or MRI scans in the future.
The stent should not interfere with your activity once you have recovered from it's insertion.
Care following stent insertion
It is recommended that you drink plenty of fluids with your meals and that you eat smaller meals.
You may be prescribed a stool softener and /or a laxative.
A light diet is advised on the first two days after stent insertion. After this we suggest you avoid:
1. Fresh vegetables and fruit (celery, carrots, corn, lettuce, pineapple etc.)
2. Foods with seeds.
3. Fruit or vegetable skins.
4. Peanuts, nuts, pecans, almonds, popcorn etc.
5. Tough meats.
You can return to your normal activities as soon as you feel able.
Once you are discharged, support is available by telephone from the Nurse Specialists