Sometimes a non-small cell lung tumor can block or narrow an airway, making breathing difficult. To help open the airway, doctors at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center can perform endobronchial stenting, a procedure in which they place small, hollow plastic or metal devices called stents into the airways. This allows air to flow in and out of the lungs more easily.
The stents, which widen and support the airway, may be temporary or permanent, depending on how the cancer responds to other treatments.
Our surgeons put the stents in place with a bronchoscope, a thin tube with a camera on the end. Doctors insert the bronchoscope through the nose or mouth and guide it to the location where the airways are narrowed or blocked.
The stents are then placed and sewn into the airway through the bronchoscope. Sometimes fluoroscopy, a type of X-ray that lets doctors view the airways in real time, is used to help guide the procedure.
Stenting is performed in the operating room using local or general anesthesia. After the procedure, our doctors monitor your overall health and can help manage any discomfort you may be experiencing. People may have a sore throat or cough up a small amount of blood for a few days after the procedure. Most people are able to return home the same day. Your doctor may recommend a short course of radiation therapy after the placement of a stent.
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