PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to extend the application of self-expandable metallic stents by investigating their usefulness in treating colorectal obstructions caused by unresectable extrinsic tumors. METHODS: From January 2000 to November 2005, a total of 60 colorectal stenting procedures were performed, and 57 stents were deployed in 39 patients with extrinsic tumors. The success rate and complications were analyzed retrospectively. RESULTS: The most common etiology and location of obstruction were advanced gastric cancer and transverse colon. Technical success was 34 of 39 patients (87.2 percent). The causes of technical failure were immediate stent migration (n=1), technical problems (n=1), and access failure because of bowel immobilization (n=3). Clinical success was 32 of 34 technical successes (82.1 percent). The two patients without clinical success had multifocal strictures of the bowel. Complications occurred in 22 of 57 stents (38.6 percent), including stent reobstruction (n=14) and stent migration (n=5). All of stent migrations except one developed with covered stents. CONCLUSIONS: In patients with colonic obstruction caused by extrinsic tumors, stent insertion provided effective symptom relief and can be a reasonable alternative choice to a colostomy. An uncovered stent might be more preferable, considering less migration and remaining short life expectancy, compared with a covered stent.
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