Managing your Ureteric Stent after surgery
As part of your surgery, you may have had a ureteric stent placed. This is a fine plastic tube which is placed in your ureter, and runs from your kidney to the bladder. There are coils on each end to keep it in place.
Why do you have a stent?
The stent has been placed for one of the following reasons:
Surgery has been successful, but there is a risk that swelling of the ureter could cause blockage or pain. A stent prevents this occurring.
There are small stone fragments that need to pass, and a stent prevents them causing pain on the way down the ureter.
There has been a recent infection in the kidney.
Occasionally, we are unable to access the stone, usually because the ureter is narrow. The ureter is a delicate fine structure, and damage to it can cause significant problems. To avoid this, if there is difficulty inserting the ureteroscope (camera) into or up the ureter, a stent is placed, and a second procedure at a later date is required.
Will the stent feel noticable?
Most people will be aware that they have a stent in place, and a small proportion of patients will have significant symptoms.
Flank pain when passing urine
Bladder pain when emptying their bladder
Going to the toilet more often and having less warning to go (frequency and urgency)
Blood in the urine
These symptoms can be similar to those experienced with a urinary tract infection, but the stent, not an infection, is the most common cause.
If you develop a fever with other symptoms, it is important that you seek advice from us at Bay Urology, or if it is after hours, Grace Hospital.
What can be done to prevent symptoms from the stent?
Pain relief such as anti-inflammatories can be helpful to relieve discomfort. In addition, anti-spasm medications such as solifenacin can be helpful. We will usually send you home with a prescription for these medications.
Do I have to restrict my activities?
It is common to see a small amount of blood in the urine after activity if you have a stent in place. This is nothing to worry about. You can’t cause any damage to your kidney or bladder, and you can return to normal activities and work when you feel comfortable.
How is my stent removed?
Most patients will have their stent removed in our rooms. We do this using a flexible cystoscope, a fine camera that is inserted into the urethra to the bladder. The stent is grasped and removed in a procedure that usually takes about 5 minutes. Less commonly, if further surgery is required, the stent is removed at the time of a second ureteroscopy under General Anaesthetic.
What if I have problems?
A small percentage of patients will have ongoing problems with their stents. If this is the case, ring us at Bay Urology (07 571 2288).
If you are unwell ie have fevers and it is after hours, please ring Grace Hospital.