Polyflex stents for malignant esophageal strictures: An overview
Self-expandable metallic stent (SEMS) placement has been widely accepted to be a safe and effective option for palliation of the symptoms caused by malignant esophageal strictures and for occlusion of malignant esophago-respiratory fistulae. Covered stents, preventing ingrowth of tumor through the metal mesh, are now the most commonly used metal stents in patients with esophageal cancer; however,they are more likely to migrate than bare metal stents. New devices with various modifications in size, flares and material have been designed to overcome the unwanted sequela of stent placement. Self-expandable plastic stents (SEPS) have been developed to overcome tissue ingrowth, there to offering lower costs, increased levels of radial expansion and the possibility of stent repositioning/removal. This article reviews current knowledge regarding the commercialised type of SEPS, the Polyflex stent (Boston Scientific, USA), including description, placement technique, and complications. Literature in the area of SEPS for malignant strictures, along with an overview of Polyflex series for malignant strictures is also discussed.