Tracheal and Bronchial Stenting
About Tracheal or Bronchial Stents
Many diseases or disease complications can narrow or block your airway. This can make you feel short of breath. A stent is a hollow tube that can be placed in your airway to open the narrowed area and help you breathe
The stent can be placed in either your trachea or your bronchi, depending where the narrow area is. Your trachea is the tube that carries air from your nose and mouth into your lungs. Your bronchi are tubes that branch off your trachea and lead to different areas of your lungs
Stents can be made of different materials, such as metal or silicone. They also come in different sizes and shapes. They can be temporary or permanent. A computed tomography (CT) scan will help your doctor decide which type will most help you.
Your stent will be placed during a procedure called a bronchoscopy. During a bronchoscopy, your doctor will put a flexible camera called a bronchoscope though your nose or mouth, into your trachea or bronchi. This will let them see inside your airways while they’re placing the stent. You won’t have a surgical cut.
What to expect
Once you arrive at the hospital, doctors, nurses, and other staff members will ask you to say and spell your name and date of birth many times. This is for your safety. People with the same or a similar name may be having a procedure on the same day.
After changing into a hospital gown, you will meet your nurse. They will place an intravenous (IV) catheter into one of your veins, usually in your hand or arm. At first, you will get fluids through the IV. It will also be used later to give you anesthesia.
When it’s time for your procedure, you will be brought into the procedure room and helped onto an exam table. You will be attached to equipment to monitor your heart, breathing, and blood pressure. You will also get oxygen through your nose. Once you’re comfortable, you will get anesthesia through your IV.
Once you’re asleep, your doctor will put a bronchoscope into your nose or mouth. They will gently move it down the back of your throat and through your trachea and bronchi. Your doctor may use fluoroscopy (a type of x-ray) to guide them during your stent placement. If your doctor needs to take any biopsies (tissue samples) of your lung tissue, they can take them during your procedure as well.