Stents

Patient Information Regarding Ureteral Stents

Your surgeon has placed a Stent inside your ureter to facilitate the healing process. The ureter is the tube that drains your kidney down to your bladder. The Stent is a thin plastic tube the size of a piece of spaghetti, about a foot long that loosely fits inside the ureter and has a curl on each end to keep it in position. It usually removed within a week of so, but no longer than several months except in rare circumstances. You must be certain to have it removed, which your surgeon will usually do with a simple procedure in the office. Or, he may leave a thread attached to the end of it which allow for self-removal. (Be careful not to pull on this thread prematurely)

While your Stent is in place, you may not feel it, or, it could cause pain or bleeding. The pain may be mild or severe enough to require pain medication. The bleeding (which is common) will cause your urine to appear red or brown but is nothing to worry about. You will not lose any significant amount of blood. It is only from irritation in the ureter from your surgery and the Stent It will disappear when your Stent is removed. Avoid any blood thinner such as aspirin if possible.

Occasionally, a patient needs to go to the emergency room for pain relief from a Stent If a Stent is causing a lot of persistent pain, your surgeon may elect to remove the Stent earlier than planned.

There are generally no limitations to your activity after a Stent is inserted. However, be aware that more activity can cause more pain and bleeding from the Stent Be as active as you can tolerate. If the pain and/or bleeding is very bothersome to you, try rest, drink a lot of fluids, and use your pain medication. If it still too severe to tolerate, you may need to go to the emergency room.

Contact your surgeon if you feel that you are having any problems beyond what is mentioned above.

Indications

A ureteral Stent, sometimes as well called ureteric Stent, is a thin tube inserted into the ureter to prevent or treat obstruction of the urine flow from the kidney. The length of the Stents used in adult patients varies between 24 to 30 cm. Additionally, Stents come in differing diameters or gauges, to fit different size ureters. The Stent is usually inserted with the aid of a cystoscope. One or both ends of the Stent may be coiled to prevent it from moving out of place, this is called a JJ Stent, double J Stent or pig-tail Stent.
File:Ureterstent double J 3D legend.jpg

Placement

Ureteral Stents are used to ensure the patency of a ureter, which may be compromised, for example, by a kidney stone. This method is sometimes used as a temporary measure, to prevent damage to a blocked kidney, until a procedure to remove the stone can be performed. Indwelling times of 12 months or longer are indicated to hold ureters open, which are compressed by tumors in the neighborhood of the ureter or by tumors of the ureter itself. In many cases these tumors are inoperable and the Stents are used to ensure drainage of urine through the ureter. If drainage is compromised for longer periods, the kidney can be damaged. Stents may also be placed in a ureter that has been irritated or scratched during a ureteroscopy procedure that involves the removal of a stone, sometimes referred to as a 'basket grab procedure'. Stents placed for this reason are normally left in place for about a week. These Stents ensure that the ureter does not spasm and collapse after the trauma of the procedure.

~Wikipedia