Benefits and risks of stents
Having a biliary or duodenal stent put in is generally safe. We explain the benefits and risks.
Benefits and risks of stents for treating a blocked bile duct
- The stent should keep the bile duct open and stop bile building up and causing jaundice.
- It will help to improve any symptoms of jaundice.
- You should start feeling better a day or two after having the stent put in.
- The stent may get blocked and the symptoms you had before may return.
- There is a risk of infection after having a biliary stent put in. Infections can be treated with antibiotics.
- There is a small risk of your stent moving after it has been put in. If this happens it may need to be replaced.
- Sometimes an ERCP can cause pancreatitis.
Benefits and risks of stents for a blocked duodenum
- The stent opens up the blocked duodenum so food can flow, and you can eat and drink.
- Symptoms such as feeling and being sick should improve quickly, usually within a couple of days.
- There is a risk that the stent may get blocked and the symptoms you had may return
- There is a small risk that your stent may move out of place.If this happens your doctor will decide if you need to have a new stent put in.
- There is a small risk of a hole developing in the duodenum (duodenal perforation) during or after having a stent put in. You may need surgery to treat this.
If you have any questions or concerns about having a stent put in, speak to your medical team. You can also speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line.
Questions to ask
- Will a stent improve my symptoms?
- Will a plastic or metal stent be used?
- How quickly will I recover after the stent has been put in?
- Will I need to change my diet after having a duodenal stent put in?
- Will I see a dietitian?
- How will a stent affect future treatment such as chemotherapy?
Published February 2017
Review date February 2019