Esophageal stents for severe strictures in young children: experience, benefits, and risk

Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2010 Jun;12(3):203-10. doi: 10.1007/s11894-010-0105-4.


The use of esophageal stents has been commonplace in adults for many years and for a variety of indications, including palliative care for malignant lesions involving the esophagus. The use of esophageal stents in the pediatric population, however, was limited by the inability to remove them and the implications this has for the growing child, especially for primarily benign esophageal lesions. With the advent of removable, covered stents, the potential uses for stents in children expanded to include treatment of a wide variety of congenital and acquired esophageal strictures. Stenting offers tremendous potential advantage over more traditional pneumatic or bougie dilation in its ability to provide continuous, radially oriented dilation pressure sustained over a period of time. This review examines the published pediatric literature on stents, discusses the indications for their use, outlines the types of stents available, offers technical guidance for proper placement, and reviews subsequent management and complications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Esophageal Stenosis / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Palliative Care / trends*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Stents*