Role of metallic stents for the treatment of biliary obstruction
The use of permanent metallic stents for the treatment of malignant biliary obstruction is well accepted, especially for inoperable patients whose life expectancies are 6 to 12 months. In these patients, metallic stents have been shown to be cost effective and provide a better quality of life than external catheters.
Long-term patency of noncovered metallic stents is poor, with an occlusion rate of 30% to 60% by 6 months, and nearly all patients require reintervention within 1 year. The use of metallic stents in benign disease remains highly controversial.