What is stenting?
Stenting is the placement of a stent inside your body. A stent is a mesh tube made out of metal which can be inserted into a passage in the body (such as a vein) to act as a skeleton and keep it open. You may be advised to have a stent placed if you have a blockage in your gullet or bowel which is caused by a tumour.
Symptoms of a blockage in the gullet, stomach or small intestine include being unable to consume an adequate amount of food, nausea and vomiting. If you have a blockage in your large intestine you may find it difficult to go to the toilet.
A stent may also be used to keep a fistula open, which is a connection between the gastrointestinal tract and the organs or tissues around it.
How does the procedure work?
Before the procedure, the interventional radiologist will outline the obstruction with contrast material under X-ray. You will have a local anaesthetic in your throat and be under mild sedation for the procedure. The interventional radiologist will introduce a device containing a wire and a catheter through your mouth and to the blockage in your gullet or small intestine. After the narrowing has been reached with the wire, a tiny balloon will be introduced and will slowly expand to dilate the area around the blockage.