Esophageal stent

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Esophageal stent
Chest radiograph showing a stent in the distal esophagus

An esophageal stent is a stent (tube) placed in the esophagus to keep a blocked area open so the patient can swallow soft food and liquids. Esophageal stents may be self-expandable metallic stents, or made of plastic, or silicone, and may be used in the treatment of esophageal cancer.

A 2007 study showed no difference in the quality of palliation between plastic and metal stents, but a novel polyester mesh stent caused more complications, especially migration.[1]

As of 2009, covered self-expanding metal stents were the only FDA-approved to be placed permanently. Occasionally, these stents may be placed as part of a clinical trial or as off-label use to repair esophageal leaks or fistulae. They are placed using the guidance of fluoroscopy (x-ray) and endoscopy. Usually, they are left in for less than four weeks.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Conio M, Repici A, Battaglia G, et al. (2007). "A randomized prospective comparison of self-expandable plastic stents and partially covered self-expandable metal stents in the palliation of malignant esophageal Dysphagia". Am. J. Gastroenterol. 102 (12): 2667–77. PMID 18042102. doi:10.1111/j.1572-0241.2007.01565.x. 

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 This article incorporates public domain material from the U.S. National Cancer Institute document "Dictionary of Cancer Terms".