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Discussion BoardSTENTS - find the right surgeo was posted 08/28/2005 03:23 pm by Ariane
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Because this is so rare, it is essential that you have a gastrointestinal
surgeon who is experienced with this type of cancer to do the stents. THe
first surgeon who tried on my mother was only able to open one duct, and said
'this was the most diffult one he had done' - we were very aggressive about
getting her to be seen by a different team (this required some insurance
gymnastics) and she now has a GI surgeon who is very experienced in this
disease and the stent procedures - however, she still needed to get the
stents replaced every two to three weeks the first few times (there have
still been some problems with slippage and we had to go in on an emergency
basis once). Basically, they keep opening up the ducts further by putting
slightly larger stents in each time. THe last time they put in metal stents,
which are permanent, but can be cleaned out. Hopefully these will last much
longer. The stents really improved the symptoms and made my mom feel much
better) - and there is no way that our original surgeon could have done these
My advice is to be very aggressive about getting an experienced GI surgeon
quickly, as you want to minimize the liver failure associated with jaundice
and other symptoms. Even very experienced GI oncologists do not know much
about the stents - so it is important to have both sides of this equation
looked at by different specialists.
Good luck and hope you have some better days ahead.
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