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Pancreatic Stent Placement

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 3, 2022.

What do I need to know about pancreatic stent placement?

A stent is a small tube used to widen a pancreatic duct and keep it open. Pancreatic fluid normally flows through the ducts. Smaller ducts empty fluid into the main duct. A stent can help treat a narrow, blocked, or leaking duct, or drain extra fluid. One or more stents may be placed before certain procedures to prevent pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Pancreatic stent placement may be done during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP).


How do I prepare for stent placement?

  • Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for your procedure. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your procedure. Tell your provider about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine before your procedure, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure.
  • Tell your provider about all allergies you have. Tell him or her if you had an allergic reaction to a medicine, contrast liquid, anesthesia, or antibiotics.
  • Arrange to have someone drive you home from your procedure.

What will happen during stent placement?

  • You will be given medicines to help you relax, make you drowsy, and prevent coughing or gagging. Your healthcare provider will insert the endoscope into your mouth. An endoscope is a long tube with a camera and a light. The provider will move the endoscope until it reaches your small intestines. He or she will use the camera to find the opening to the duct.
  • Your provider may use a balloon to widen the duct. He or she will guide a wire into the duct. The stent will be put into the duct over the wire. Fluid may be removed. Contrast liquid will be injected to make the duct and stent easier to see in pictures. The pictures will help make sure the stent is in the correct position.

What should I expect after stent placement?

  • You may have a sore throat for a day or two.
  • You may have abdominal pain or feel bloated. You may also feel nauseated. These symptoms should go away in a few hours.
  • You will need to have x-rays 3 to 4 weeks after the procedure to make sure the stent it still in place.

What are the risks of pancreatic stent placement?

The endoscope or tools may damage your pancreas or the duct. The stent may move out of place or block the duct. The stent may become stuck in your small bowel. The procedure may not work and you may need to have another stent placed.

Care Agreement

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Further information

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