What is a ureteric stent?
A ureteric stent is a flexible plastic hollow tube, placed in the ureter between the kidney and bladder.
Why is a Ureteric stent used?
A ureteric stent is used to relieve or prevent obstruction of the kidney. The obstruction causes pressure to build up which can be very painful, and may lead to infection and further damage to the kidneys. Often a stent is used during treatment of a kidney stone or following surgery involving the kidney, ureter or bladder.
Stents are designed to stay in the urinary system by having small coils at each end. The top end coils into the kidney and the lower end coils inside the bladder to prevent displacement. Urine can drain around and through the stent.
A stent is usually inserted under general anaesthetic using a 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 X-ray techniques. The correct position of a stent is checked by taking an X-ray.
A stent is usually inserted for 2-6 weeks, however it can sometimes stay in longer up to a maximum of 12 months. A ureteric stent is almost always temporarily and must be removed.
The Common side effects from a stent internally include:
Increased frequency of passing urine.
Urgency to pass urine.
Small amount of blood in urine.
The sensation of incomplete emptying of the bladder.
Occasionally urinary …………..incontinence.
Discomfort or pain in the bladder or kidney area but sometimes in the groin, urethra or genitals.
Pain or discomfort may be more noticeable after physical activities and during and after passing urine.
These side effects are usually mild but occasionally severe.
A urine infection can occur which may cause, Raised temperature, increased pain or discomfort in the kidney or bladder area, burning or pain while passing urine.
Feeling generally unwell.
Please let you GP or Dr Delaney know is this happens.
You may relieve some of the side effects by the following care:
It is important that you try to drink at least 1 ½ to 2 litres of water a day to reduce the risk of infection and the amount of blood in the urine.
If you experience pain or discomfort, take pain relief as prescribed by your doctor. Please note codeine can cause constipation.
Take Ural (urinary alkaliser) to help relieve the burning sensation whilst passing urine.
If you have a stent with a thread coming down from the urethra outside the body, then more care will be needed so as not to dislodge the thread.
Contact Dr Delaney if you have any of these problems after insertion of your stent:
Constant and unbearable pain associated with the stent.
Symptoms of a urinary tract infection
The stent gets dislodged or falls out.
You notice a significant change in the amount of blood in your urine.
Avoid strenuous exercise whilst the stent is in place. Walking and gentle bike riding or swimming should not cause problems. You may carry on with normal daily work activities while the stent is in place provided the underlying kidney condition and your health allows you to do so.
Few patients experience discomfort during sexual activities. Sometimes the side effects associated with the stent may have an effect on sexual desire. If you have a stent with a thread coming outside the body, avoid intercourse until the stent is removed.
Following a General Anaesthetic you must not drive or travel on public transport alone for 24 hours. A responsible adult should collect you from the hospital and remain with you overnight. Finally -remember a stent is temporary and needs to be removed. Please contact Dr Delaney to arrange.