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Esophageal Stent and Cautions during Recovery

November 13, 2012

Stent is a frequently used word in the field of medical implantation. Stents refer to very small expandable tubes which are inserted into human body to treat arteries related diseases. Some stents are made from metal mesh and some are made from plastics. Stent system consists of various types of stents for different diseases. The commonly seen stents include cardiac stent, Tracheal Stent, Esophageal Stent, ureteral stent, etc. We will focus on esophageal stent in following contents.
Esophageal stent has been used in esophageal diseases for a very long time which probably has a history of 30years. The first case was malignant esophageal obstruction which used stiff plastic tubes over an introducer for treatment. Due to immature medical technique, those stents were failed by their high perforation rates because of the forceful and unguided insertion. Nowadays, more new and practical stents are developed gradually to benefit all human beings. Current stents utilize a wire-guided delivery device that can orient correctly with the aid of fluoroscopy or direct endoscopy. More recently, a type of SEPS stent (self-expanding plastic stent) is designed to be less traumatic. It can be also removed easily. Esophageal stents are mainly used in three broad categories of diseases: Dysphagia(due to benign recurrent esophageal structure), Esophageal leak and Dysphagia(due to malignant obstruction).
Medical staff must be very careful when it comes to choosing an appropriate stent. The length and diameter of an esophageal stent depend on the dimension of the leak. Different sizes of esophageal stents are available, provided by stent manufacturing companies. Most of the stents are covered with a plastic membrane to prevent tissue in-growth. Some uncovered versions can still be found in the market. Consult professionals first to decide which types to choose. All stents in today's market are inserted by using a flexible catheter. These are also called ultra-flex stents.
It is better for patients with a just implanted esophageal stent to stay at hospital for a couple of days. During this period, some indications may show up to make the complication worse. The doctors in hospital will be able to handle all these unexpected results. Patients should also adjust their diets, making food easy to swallow and digest. Sharp, hard or large pieces of food may get stuck in the scents and block the esophagus which is a big hazard. Sit upright when eat and remain the upright position for couples of minutes after eating, so that food goes through esophagus smoothly. There is usually a list of food appointed by patients' doctor or nutritionist after surgery.

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