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Drainage of the bile duct via stents is an effective alternative to surgery. In patients with malignant biliary obstructions it is a palliative method. Patients with benign biliary strictures may also be stented to temporarily relieve jaundice, or in cases where surgery is inappropriate. Biliary stents manufactured from plastic are usually used for short- and mid-term indications. They can usually be removed. Stents manufactured from metal are used for patients requiring longer durations.
During insertion of plastic or metal stents, the guide or delivery catheter is advanced over a guidewire through the working channel of the duodenoscope into the papilla. Fluoroscopic and endoscopic visualisation is used to ensure the stent is placed optimally. The distal end of the stent is usually extended 1–2 cm beyond the obstruction, and the proximal end of the stent is usually left protruding into the duodenum. The stent is then deployed by operating the guide or delivery catheter, while the optimal position of the stent is confirmed using fluoroscopic imaging. In some patients, the stricture or stenosis may require dilatation prior to insertion of the stent.
Olympus offers a wide range of plastic biliary & pancreatic stents. The plastic stents are available in a variety of shapes, lengths and diameters, allowing the physician to select the ideal stent for each patient. They can be supplied pre-loaded onto a guide catheter, for extra convenience. Olympus’ DoubleLayer plastic stents have an exceptionally smooth inner channel, resulting in longer patency compared to conventional plastic stents, with improved convenience for the patient and physician.
Olympus’ metallic stents have a unique cell geometry and are manufactured from the shape-memory alloy Nitinol, giving them superior radial force and high flexibility. They are supplied with an optimally-designed delivery catheter which facilitates insertion into the papilla and passage through a stricture . These features result in exceptional patient comfort and a high level of physician control.