Browsing Natural Sciences by Publisher "Thieme Publishing"
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Gastrointestinal Stents: Materials and DesignsOver the last 25 years stents have developed into an established way of restoring luminal patency throughout the gastrointestinal tract. Materials used as well as the construction of these devices have become more and more sophisticated in order to comply better with the complex environment they are inserted. The requirements vary greatly from organ to organ and stent behavior differs significantly between stent constructions. However this is not necessarily understood by many operators, as the choice of devices is now vast and in many cases decisions are made on availability and cost. An increasing challenge in malignant conditions is the improving survival of incurable patients, which now exceeds the traditional life expectancy of a stent by a factor of 2 to 3. Consequently more patients experience failure of their stent and require repeat interventions. This has a poor impact on patients’ quality of life and potentially on their survival. Re-intervention is often more difficult, carries the risk of additional complications and presents an additional economic burden to the health systems. This article illustrates current stent designs, their different behavior and their limitations.