Ureteric Stents

A ureteric stent is a fine flexible thin hollow tube that is inserted into your ureter (the tube that drains urine from the kidneys to the bladder). It is held in place by a coil on either end that sits in the kidney and bladder.

Stents generally are 24-26cm in length or the average length of a normal ureter. It is placed at the time of the cystoscopy or procedure.

After kidney stone procedures, the ureter can become swollen and the stent prevents it from blocking.

Stents may stay in for many months. After kidney stone surgery however, the stent is usually removed after only a few weeks. You can return to normal daily activities once you are discharged from hospital. There are no real restrictions in regards to sexual intercourse.

The stent is generally be removed by a flexible cystoscope that is passed into your bladder.  The stent is grasped under vision and gently pulled out.

Potential Side Effects

The stent can irritate the urinary tract leading to the following symptoms:

  • Bladder irritation can be experienced by wanting to pass urine quickly (urgency) or often (frequency), the sensation of incomplete emptying and in some cases, episodes of incontinence or the involuntary leakage of urine
  • It is not uncommon to have blood-stained urine immediately after the procedure. Even when you are at home doing regular activities you could have slightly blood-stained urine. Vigorous activity can exacerbate discomfort and blood in the urine.
  • Stent pain is commonly experienced as discomfort and a dull feeling in the groin or lower back. It can occasionally be sharp and may worse with vigorous physical activity or a change of position.
  • These symptoms rapidly subside once the stent has been removed

Ways to keep comfortable

  • Simple pain medications such as panadol and anti-inflammatories can help. A prescription for stronger analgesia such as Panadeine forte or Endone may be given on discharge.
  • Continue to drink enough water, usually at least 2 litres a day, to keep the urine visibly clear.
  • Refrain from heavy physical exertion or avoid activities that trigger the discomfort until the stent has been removed. A simple change in position can sometimes help.

What to look out for

  • Excessive bleeding, characterised by dark red and viscous urine, that makes it difficult or painful to empty your bladder
  • Signs of an infection such as high temperatures, feeling chills or unstoppable shivering. This may be accompanied by offensive smelling urine.
  • Please attend Lake Macquarie Private Hospital Emergency if insured or your nearest emergency department if this occurs. Our specialist urology nurses are usually available for phone advice during working hours.