Ureteric Stents

The Procedure

Usually, a stent is placed under a general anaesthetic using a special telescope ( cystoscope ) which is passed through the urethra into the bladder. The stents are then placed in the ureter and kidney via the opening of the ureter in the bladder. Occasionally, they are placed from the kidney down to the bladder using special xray techniques. The correct position of a stent is checked by taking an x-ray.

Ureteric Stents
After the Procedure

There is no set time limit and the stent will be kept in place as long as necessary or until the obstruction is relieved. In the majority of patients, the stents are only required for a short duration, from a few weeks to 12 months.

The stents are designed to stay in the urinary system by having both the ends coiled. The top end coils in the kidney and the bottom end coils in the bladder to prevent its displacement.

Side Effects

The majority of patients with a stent in place will be aware of its presence some of the time. In most cases they are minor and tolerable. However, sometimes they can be moderate to severe in nature.

Common side effects are urinary symptoms which may include

  • An increased frequency of passing urine.
  • Urgency to pass urine.
  • Small amount of blood in urine.
  • Sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder.
  • Occasionally, especially in women, there is a slight risk of incontinence episodes.

Discomfort or pain

  • This may occur commonly in the bladder, kidney area, but sometimes in other areas such as the groin, urethra and genitals.
  • Pain or discomfort may be more noticeable after physical activities, and during/after passing urine. This is very common and can be relieved with pain relief.

Possibility of a urinary tract infection; symptoms are;

  • Raised temperature.
  • Increased pain or discomfort in the kidney or bladder area.
  • An increase in other urinary symptoms, such as burning, or pain whilst passing urine.
  • Generally feeling unwell.
Going Home

You may relieve some of the side effects by the following care;

  • It is essential that you drink at least 11/2 to 2 litres of fluids, mainly water, a day. This will reduce the risk of getting an infection and will reduce the amount of blood in the urine.
  • If you experience pain or discomfort, take pain relief as prescribed by your doctor. Please note the codeine can cause constipation.
  • Take URAL 3 times a day to help relieve the burning sensation while passing urine.
  • If you have a stent with the string coming down from the urethra outside the body, then much care will have to be needed so as not to dislodge the thread.

The stent is not expected to cause much disruption to your normal daily life however, you may experience some side effects either directly or indirectly in relation to various daily activities.

You may carry on with various physical and work activities while the stent is in place, provided the underlying kidney condition and your health allows you to do so. Occasionally side effects, such as urinary symptoms and pain associated with the stent can make you feel more tired than normal.

The presence of the stent should not affect social life and interactions in any significant way. Due to urinary symptoms you may need to use toilets more frequently.

Few patients experience discomfort during sexual activities. Sometimes the side effects associated with the stent may have an affect on sexual desire. If you have a stent with a string coming outside the body, sexual activities may be difficult and care will be required so as not to dislodge the string.

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