Minimally invasive treatment of low rectal cancer: stenting as a bridge to surgery

Giovanni D. De Palma, Gaetano Luglio


Stenting as a bridge to surgery (SBTS) is a relatively novel procedure, potentially useful to treat symptomatic left-sided malignant colonic obstruction. The clinical use of SBTS has been mainly suggested in advanced or non resectable tumors, in order to avoid the need for emergency surgery, thus obtaining a good palliation and, at the same time, delaying the elective major procedure. SBTS might also increase the rate of laparoscopic procedures, perhaps reducing the need of staged operations with stoma formation and possibly im-proving the quality life of patients. Aim of this review article is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the clinical use of self-expanding metallic stents (SEMS), specially in left-sided malignant colonic obstructions as a bridge to elective surgery.