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BACKGROUND: It remains contentious whether endoscopic stenting or upfront surgery is more optimal in patients with metastatic colorectal cancers presenting with large bowel obstruction. METHODS: A retrospective review of all patients with metastatic colorectal cancer who underwent either endoscopic stenting or emergency surgery for acute large bowel obstruction was performed. RESULTS: Between January 2007 and June 2014, 66 patients, median age, 64 (range, 25-96) years, presented with acute large bowel obstruction from metastatic colorectal cancer. Forty (60.6%) patients underwent endoscopic stenting whilst the rest received immediate upfront surgical intervention. Of the 40 patients, 29 (72.5%) were successfully stented. The remaining 11 (27.5%) patients who failed endoscopic stenting required immediate emergency surgery to relieve the obstruction. Patients who failed endoscopic stenting had worse complications than those patients who had their stents successfully inserted [odds ratio (OR), 23.3; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.29-250.00, P=0.004]. Patients who underwent emergency surgery had a longer median length of stay than patients who had successful endoscopic stenting (P=0.003). The patients that underwent successful stenting had earlier commencement of chemotherapy compared to those who had upfront surgery (P=0.02). There was no difference in stoma creation rates between patients who had emergency surgery versus those who were successfully stented. CONCLUSIONS: Stenting is a safe option in patients with stage IV colorectal cancer presenting with acute large bowel obstruction. Earlier commencement of chemotherapy occurs in patients who were successfully stented. Patients who failed stenting have equivalent outcomes to those who undergone upfront emergency surgery.

Original publication




Journal article


J Gastrointest Oncol

Publication Date





785 - 790


Metastatic, colorectal cancer, stenting, treatment outcome