Bile Duct Cancer: Stent or Catheter Placement
In some cases of bile duct cancer, the cancer may block the bile duct. This can cause bile to build up and cause symptoms such as pain, or yellow eyes and skin (jaundice).
This problem can be treated in several ways. Your doctor may:
Place a short, thin plastic or metal tube, like a small straw, into the duct. This tube is called a stent. It helps keep the duct open to drain bile that builds up in the area.
Insert a thin flexible tube (catheter) to let excess bile to drain out of the body. One end of the catheter is put into the duct. The other end comes out of your body. This allows bile to drain into a small bag that sticks to your belly (abdomen)>
Placing a bile stent or catheter may be done to relieve jaundice before surgery. It may also be used for advanced cancer to help keep the bile duct open, or drain out bile if surgery is not an option.
Stent placement using ERCP
This procedure is done by a doctor who specializes in gastrointestinal (GI) procedures. He or she puts the stent inside the blocked bile duct. This tube is called an internal stent or endostent. The procedure to place it is called endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).
During this procedure, you are given medicine (sedation) so you won't feel pain, and your throat is numbed. The doctor puts a flexible tube down your throat and into your small intestine. This tube is moved into the blocked bile duct. This flexible tube carries the stent. The stent is then slid through the tube and into your bile duct.
Benign biliary strictures (BBS)
ERCP is the first-line management option for most patients with BBS. Endoscopic access to the major papilla is a prerequisite. Endoscopic therapy for BBS is safe, effective, repeatable, and less invasive than other treatment options, such as percutaneous or surgical modalities. Endoscopic methods to treat BBS include stricture dilatation using an over-the-wire balloon or bougie, followed by insertion of one or more plastic stents or a fully covered self-expandable metal stent.
Plastic stents are changed periodically at intervals of 6–12 months to promote biliary drainage and stricture resolution. Recent data support the use of the FCSEMS for treatment of BBS. Reported advantages include high technical and clinical success, ease of insertion, and need of fewer endoscopic procedures for stricture resolution compared with multiple plastic stents