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Bowel Obstruction: Stent Treatment

Topic Overview

In some cases of bowel obstruction, a doctor places expandable metal tubes called stents in the large intestine. Stents hold the intestine open to allow its contents to move forward, which helps restore bowel function and improve symptoms.

Stents may be used to:

  • Help you gain strength before surgery.
  • Help prevent emergency surgery. Making large-intestine surgery less urgent may help avoid the need for a colostomy.
  • Treat an obstruction caused by inoperable cancer.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Jerome B. Simon, MD, FRCPC, FACP - Gastroenterology
Last Revised April 27, 2011

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