Strictures and Stents
A Stricture is an unusual narrowing of a passage within the body, common in a tube or canal. This can occur for different reasons such as scar tissue or a tumour. The different symptoms of strictures can include abdominal pain and feeling bloated. If left untreated it can lead to intestinal obstruction which can cause vomiting and abdominal pain.
Symptoms of strictures include abdominal pain, cramping, and bloating. In serious cases, strictures can progress to the point of causing a complete intestinal obstruction, which may result in nausea, vomiting, abdominal distention, and severe abdominal pain.
There are different strictures a patient may have:
Oesophagul stricture – a patients oesophagus may be blocked which in turn will prevent the passing of food or fluid through the gullet.
Intestinal stricture – These strictures occur in the small and large intestine, depending on how big the stricture is would make it difficult for foods to be passed through your body and be digested.
Biliary Stricture – this is a narrowing tube that moves bile from the liver to the intestine. A stricture in this area prevents the normal movement of bile and causes significant discomfort when eating or digesting food.
A procedure can be carried out to rectify this. A dilator is used to stretch open the desired area as to where the stricture is present, an X-ray could possibly be used to check the position of the dilator. The procedure will be carried out using a local anaesthetic before the dilator is inserted.
This is also similar to a coronary angioplasty (stent insertion) which is a procedure used to widen a blocked or narrowed artery which is the main blood vessel supplying the heart. A balloon is used to stretch open the artery, then a small wire-mesh tube (stent) is inserted inside. The stent will be left in place to ensure the blood flows more freely around the body.
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