Biliary Stent Insertion

Biliary stents are used to relieve the signs of jaundice by re-establishing the flow of bile where it has become blocked. The aim of a stent is to keep the bile duct flowing freely by holding it open, or increasing its width if it has become narrow and a plastic or metal tube called a ‘stent’ is used to do this. Plastic stents are easier to use and can be removed endoscopically (depending upon location) but they do block more easily and are therefore used for a shorter duration. Metal stents last longer but can only be surgically removed and are inflexible which can cause problems with insertion. Stents can cause infection and can move in the bile tract and therefore have a limited life span. However they are an invaluable treatment for jaundice. These procedures are carried out by our radiologists and usually require hospitalisation. If you need to have a stent inserted then contact us for further details.