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:

  1. There is an obstruction to urine flow within the ureter – such as a kidney stone or scarring from a previous operation.
  2. There has been an injury to your ureter – temporary stent placement allows minor injuries to heal.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Symptoms include:

  • 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.

Stent Removal

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.