When you need treatment to remove kidney stones, you may also need to have a temporary stent placed in the ureter. The team at Stone Relief Center in The Woodlands, Texas, evaluate your condition and perform on-site diagnostic imaging to determine if you may need a ureteral stent. If you have questions about ureteral stents or treatment for kidney stones, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
A ureteral stent is a flexible, hollow tube that’s inserted into one or both ureters. The ureters are the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder. A stent is placed in a ureter to maintain the flow of urine.
The top of the stent has a small curl that holds it inside the kidney. Then the stent goes through the ureter and the opposite end curls inside the bladder. Some ureteral stents also have a string on the bottom end that goes through the urethra and is visible outside the body.
Ureteral stents are most often used when you need treatment for kidney stones. The team at Stone Relief Center may insert a ureteral stent if you need a ureteroscopy or when using shock waves or a laser to break down the stones.
In addition to keeping the ureter open so you can urinate, the stent helps tiny pieces of stone travel through the ureter without causing a blockage.
Ureteral stents are not routinely used for everyone having their kidney stones removed. However, chances are you’ll need a stent if you have an infection when the ureter was blocked by the stone, or if the stones are large. The doctor may also insert a ureteral stent before removing kidney stones if you only have one kidney.
The length of time your stent stays in the ureter depends on the kidney removal procedure and when the stent was inserted. If your Stone Relief Center provider inserts the stent before removing kidney stones, you’ll probably have the stent for a week or two before your procedure.
When they insert a ureteral stent at the time of your kidney stone procedure, it generally stays there for several days after a ureteroscopy and for 1-2 weeks following lithotripsy.
When you have a ureteral stent, it’s normal to experience:
It’s not normal to stop urinating or to pass tiny dribbles of urine. You also should not have constantly dark, bloody urine, clots in your urine, severe pain, or a fever. If any of these symptoms develop, contact Stone Relief Center immediately.
If you have questions about ureteral stents, call Stone Relief Center or schedule an appointment online.