Description of Medical ServiceColonic stents (tubes that are placed inside the large bowel to hold it open) are an alternative to surgery for patients who present with blockage of the bowel due to colorectal cancer. Self-expanding metal stents are deployed into the bowel through the anus with the aid of a colonoscope and x-ray guidance. The stent holds the narrowed segment open to allow passage of stool (faeces). This relieves the acute bowel blockage and averts the need for urgent abdominal surgery. Stents can be inserted under light general anesthesia without the need for a surgical incision in the abdomen. Patients are usually discharged from hospital within a few days of the procedure.
Description of Medical ConditionColorectal cancer is the most common internal malignancy diagnosed in Australia. It is responsible for approximately 5000 cancer deaths per year. Twenty to thirty per cent of colorectal cancers present with obstruction of the bowel. This causes pain and swelling of the abdomen, vomiting, dehydration and constipation. Current treatments include surgery to relieve the obstruction, and may involve creation of a colostomy, where the bowel is opened onto the abdominal wall and drained into a small bag.
Reason for Application-
Medical Service Type-
Previous Application NumberNot Applicable
PICO Confirmation6 - 7 July 2011
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