Ureteric Stent Management
A ureteric stent is a thin flexible plastic tube running from the kidney along the ureter into the bladder. It is entirely internal.
A ureteric stent may be placed for several reasons:
- There is an obstruction to urine flow within the ureter – such as a kidney stone or scarring from a previous operation.
- There has been an injury to your ureter – temporary stent placement allows minor injuries to heal.
- The ureter may be too small to allow easy telescope passage. If this is the case then leaving a ureteric stent in for two weeks allows the ureter to dilate thus allowing ureteroscopy at a later date.
- There are residual stones in the kidney, which require further treatment. The stent allows the kidney to continue to drain easily preventing further episodes of colic and allowing easy re-introduction of the ureteroscope at a second procedure.
- The stone has been removed however there is concern that the ureter may swell following surgery. This causes pain identical to renal colic. A stent prevents this. The stent is usually removed within two weeks.
What symptoms can I expect from the stent?
Most people can tolerate a stent very well, a small proportion have more significant symptoms.
- More frequent desire to urinate
- Pain within the flank and bladder during and after urination
- Blood in the urine
These symptoms are very similar to those of a urinary infection however are usually due to the stent irritating the urinary tract rather than any infection.
How can I reduce these symptoms?
Regular pain relievers such as: paracetamol, and anti-inflammatories. Alpha blockers such as Tamsulosin or doxazosin may also be helpful.
Symptoms are usually exacerbated by heavy exercise.
If a ureteric stent has been placed then arrangements will be made to remove this several weeks later. This will be either by cystoscopy or by slowly pulling on a long thread attached to the lower end of the stent.