Whats The Prognosis For Someone Who Has Ureteral Stents
Ureteral stents are generally safe. They dont typically cause any long-term problems.
Despite the risk of annoying side effects, ureteral stents are helpful. Ureteral stents often allow kidney stones to pass. They also work well to resolve ureteral obstructions. Left untreated, a ureteral obstruction can lead to life-threatening kidney failure and .
What Can I Do The First Week After Surgery
- Try to drink enough fluids: 1.5 litres daily throughout the day to facilitate urine flow and the spontaneous loss of small stone fragments.
- Try not to have sex within the first week after the procedure to avoid urinary tract infections.
- Eat more vegetables and less meat to have softer stoolthe inner healing process will be helped if you do not have to squeeze when using the toilet.
- Allow your body to rest during the first week after the procedureyou are allowed to lift a maximum of 5 kg and to go for walks. You can start cycling and exercising after this period.
Time Your Fluid Intake
Youll want to drink plenty of water after you have a stent placed. This will help you flush blood and urine through your kidneys.
However, drinking too much water close to bedtime can cause you to make several additional trips to the bathroom at night.
To address this concern, try to drink plenty of water during the day and start to taper off your intake after dinner. This can help reduce the urinary frequency and urgency you may experience at night.
Your goal will be to keep your urine pale yellow whenever possible. This color indicates that youre hydrated.
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How To Sleep With A Kidney Stent
While your doctor ideally places a kidney stent to help you feel better, an estimated 80 percent of people report stents are uncomfortable. This may be especially true when trying to sleep.
Fortunately, there are a lot of ways both you and your doctor can work to relieve stent-related discomfort. Keep reading to find out.
Sleep is really important when youre recovering from a ureteral stent placement. Your body needs time to heal and regain energy, so feeling comfortable for sleep is important.
Here are some methods you can use to improve your sleep with a stent.
Problems Caused By Ureteral Stents
Even though placing ureteral stents helps in preventing the blockage of urine in the kidneys, it has some problems. Many patients feel a lot of discomfort during the process, and there is no other option but to bear the pain for a few days or weeks. In this regard, let us look into some of the common problems caused by ureteral stents.
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When Kidney Fails To Operate Adequately
Urologists recommend a stent for kidney stones in patients, when the presence of a stone in a kidney prevents the kidney to work in an adequate manner. Placement of ureter stents takes place after kidney surgeries for stones, as in the case of ureteroscopy to help in both healing and prevention of ureters swelling.
Ways To Avoid Stent Failure
One of the best ways, by which you may prevent re-blocking of a stent or prevent its progression, is to reduce the related risk factors, as much as possible. For instance, you should bring changes in your lifestyle, include a good exercise program and healthy diet options, undergo medical therapy on a regular basis and similar others.
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What Happens After Ureteral Stenting
Someone should drive you home when your provider says its safe to go. Your provider may recommend drinking lots of water after the procedure to help with kidney and bladder function.
You may notice some blood in the urine and have some discomfort. These symptoms are normal after the stent placement and should gradually improve in a couple of days. However, you may see traces of blood and have discomfort until your provider removes the stent. You may also experience frequent urination and pain in the kidney that gets worse when you urinate as long as the stent is in place. The blood in your urine may come and go randomly.
Can I Work With A Ureteral Stent
Yes, you can continue your normal activities with a stent in place. Though there may be some physical discomfort, a stent will not physically limit you.
Lifting, or reaching your hands above your head repeatedly may cause bleeding, or worsening bleeding that may already be present. This is related to increased irritation of the stent on your bladder.
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What Symptoms Can Be Caused By A Stent
Normal symptoms you may experience when a stent is in place include:
- Blood in urine Can range from light pink tinged urine, to a darker color similar to red wine.
- Dysuria this can be mild to moderate. Dysuria can usually be relieved by increasing fluid intake and avoidance of certain drinks, food, and some medications.
- Urgency the feeling/sensation you get when you have to go
- Frequency going to the restroom more often than normal. Frequency can range from every few minutes, to once an hour. Frequency will increase when increasing fluid intake.
- Spasms of the ureter or bladder. A cramping-like sensation in the mid to low abdomen, often described as feeling like a muscle cramp
Some symptoms are not normal with a stent in place, and you should see your doctor. These include:
- Constant dark bloody urine that does not ease up with increased fluid intake.
- Thick clots or tissue in the urine that is causing any difficulty urinating
- Urinary retention, meaning you are unable to urinate at all. Small dribbles of urine with an increasing discomfort in your lower abdomen can suggest the beginning of retention, and you should notify your doctor.
- Severe pain of any kind not relieved with any medications, either over-the-counter or prescription medication.
- Persistent fever over 101.8 °
What To Expect After The Procedure
The stent will be removed later on. Sometimes it is used temporarily before stone removal with another procedure.
Depending on the hospitals protocol, you will proceed to the recovery room or to your own room after the procedure. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and pain will be checked regularly. Ask your nurse about visiting hours for friends and relatives.
You will likely leave the hospital shortly after the procedure, when you are able to empty your bladder sufficiently and you have no fever or not in too much pain.
You may feel mild to moderate pain in your lower abdomen, and you may have a strong urge to urinate. These symptoms are usually caused by the inserted stent. Medication is available to treat these symptoms. Do ask your doctor.
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How Long Will I Have A Ureteral Stent
Most ureteral stents are temporary. Your healthcare provider will perform another procedure to remove the stent after the kidney stone passes, infection clears up or other problems resolve. Youll probably have the stent for a few days or weeks.
Some people need stents for months or years. People who have tumors that press on the ureters or narrowed ureters may need ureteral stents for an extended time. Your provider will replace the stent with a new one every three to six months. Replacing the stent reduces the likelihood of complications.
Description Of The Procedure
An imaging tool may be used so that the doctor can see the ureter during the surgery. A needle will be used to inject a contrast material through the skin and into the kidneys. The contrast will make the kidneys and ureter visible on image screen. The doctor will use the image to help guide the stent to the right area.
A cystoscope is a small flexible tube. It will be passed through the opening where urine passes out of the body. The scope is passed up into the bladder and ureter. The stent will then be passed through the scope until one end is in the kidney. The bottom end of the stent will remain in the bladder. Both ends of the stent are curled to help keep it in place. Once the images show the stent is in place the scope will be removed. Sometimes a string will be attached to the stent. The string will be left hanging through the bladder and out of the body.
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How To Prepare For The Procedure
Always ask your doctor about the treatment steps and any special instructions. These can differ by hospital and country.
Instructions may include:
- when to stop certain medications, such as blood thinners
- when to stop eating and drinking before the procedure to prepare for anaesthesia
- when to empty the bladder before the procedure
- when to arrange pain medication after the procedure, if necessarydiscuss this early with your nurse and/or doctor
- arranging for a ride home after your hospital discharge
Before surgery, someone from your health care teamusually the anaesthesiologistwill assess which type of anaesthesia is appropriate for you.
Depending on the country you live in and your hospital, types of anaesthesia can include:
- General anaesthesia
- A local anaesthetic with or without sedation
You may be asked to give a urine sample before the procedure to test for a urinary tract infection.
What Happens Before Ureteral Stenting
Before a ureteral stent procedure, your provider may ask you to:
- Get blood tests to check kidney function.
- Give your healthcare team a list of the medications and supplements you take.
- Stop taking medications like aspirin that thin the blood.
- Fast for a specified amount of time before the procedure.
How Is The Procedure Performed
The procedure is usually performed with the patient asleep . Sometimes a local anaesthetic, with or without sedation, is administered.
During this procedure, a tube with a tiny optic camera is inserted through the urethra into your bladder. The bladder is inspected, and the ureteric opening is located. The urologist may use x-ray images taken with a contrast agent in the ureters to assess the urinary tract and to locate the obstruction.
The stent is placed during surgery by sliding it over a guidewire placed in the ureter .
When The Stent Was Placed During A Procedure For Stone Removal
If a stone is removed during the procedure, it is sent to the laboratory to determine its composition. This may take several weeks. Based on the laboratory results, along with blood and urine tests taken before treatment, your doctor can determine whether you are at high risk of forming new stones .
The results will be discussed with you during an appointment in the hospital or with your doctor .
What Is A Ureter
A ureter is the tube-like structure that transports the urine from the kidney to the urinary bladder.Ureters run vertically in the mid-part of the abdomen. Typically there is one ureter for each kidney. Some people are born with two ureters to one kidney or two ureters to both kidneys. This is called duplication.
When Should I Call The Hospital Or My General Practitioner
- When you have a fever higher than 38.5°C
- When you experience a serious burning sensation when urinating
- When you are unable to urinate
- When you see large amounts of blood in your urine and it does not go away with rest and hydration
- When you continue to have severe pain in your side, despite the use of pain medication
Tell your doctor right away if bleeding or pain is severe or if problems last longer or worsen after you go home from the hospital.
Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to treat or prevent an infection or to relieve your pain. Report any signs of infectionincluding severe pain, chills, or feverto your doctor right away.
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What Is A Kidney Stent
Rarely, a healthcare provider cant place a ureteral stent due to scarring or other problems. You may need a nephrostomy instead. To perform nephrostomy, a radiologist inserts a stent directly into a kidney. The kidney stent drains urine from the kidney into a bag outside of the body, bypassing the ureters and bladder.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Ureteral stenting is an effective way to allow painful kidney stones to pass through the ureters and out of the body. Ureteral stents for kidney stones and ureteral stones are temporary. Some people need ureteral stents longer to keep narrowed ureters open. A ureteral stent can be uncomfortable and even slightly painful. Your healthcare provider can suggest ways to ease discomfort until its time to remove the stent.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/25/2021.
What Is A Ureteral Stent
Ureteral stents are small tubes inserted into the ureter to treat or prevent a blockage that prevents the flow of urine from the kidney to the bladder. The most common reason for ureteral stents is the treatment of kidney stones. Below are the answers to some of the questions we receive about ureteral stents.
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Are We Moving Forward
Progress has been made recently in the development of drug-eluting expandable metal stents and biodegradable stents. Currently, engineering technologies are being investigated to provide stents with better biocompatibility and drug-elution characteristics. This may help prevent common complications and will be an important step forward. To prevent complications after surgery, please ensure you are given a clear date as to when the stent needs to be removed. The indications for stent insertion should be considered carefully in each patient. If you feel any unbearable pain or discomfort after the procedure, ensure you contact a Doctor.
To Deal With Inoperable Tumors
Most of the times, 12 months or higher indwelling times indicate keeping of the ureters in open condition, which further gets compressed due to tumor present in the nearby region of the ureter or because of the ureteral tumor itself. In most of the cases, these are of inoperable tumors and hence, to come up with an appropriate solution, doctors place stents to make sure easy drainage of the urine from the ureter. Reason for this is very simple, if patients and doctors compromise the drainage for a long time, it may cause damage to the kidney.
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Changes In Your Lifestyle
Even if you have a low risk of forming another stone, your doctor and nurse will advise you to make some lifestyle changes.
Lifestyle changes may include:
- Increasing fluid intake: Drink 2.5-3.0 litres per day to neutralise the pH of your urine
- Adopting a balanced diet with less meat and alcohol and more vegetables and fibre to have normal calcium levels and less intake of animal proteins
- Maintaining a healthy weight and adequate physical activity
What Can I Expect After I Have My Ureteral Stent
After a stent is placed, you may have a string coming out of the urethra. This will be used to remove the stent in the future and should not be pulled on. In most cases, it will be okay if it accidentally is pulled out.
The side effects after a stent are placed can vary. If it was placed because of severe pain from a stone, stent discomfort is usually significantly less. Most patients will experience some discomfort which may include pain in the back, flank and pelvis, urinary urgency and frequency, and intermittent blood in the urine. You can continue your regular activities if you are not having significant pain or taking narcotic pain medications. You should notify your physician if there are any fevers or significant clots in the urine.
The stent is temporary and will need to be removed. Your physician should be able to tell you an approximate length of time the stent will be left in place, but this can vary significantly. Most stents after treatment for medium to small stones are kept in place for less than two weeks. Stents that have a string attached to them will be removed with the string on a follow-up appointment in the office. Stents without a string will require a minor procedure in the office. A flexible scope will be passed into the bladder and a grasper will be used to pull the stent out. After this most will have minimal urinary discomfort for 1-2 days.
If you have any more questions or concerns regarding ureteral stent, contact our urological experts.
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How To Relieve Ureteral Stent Pain
The ureter may develop some problems due to the treatment of kidney stones, and this can block the flow of urine from the kidney to the bladder. In order to provide relief from this problem, ureteral stents are placed into the ureter.
The stent is nothing but a small hollow tube that runs from the kidneys till the bladder. It is flexible and has curls at both ends to keep them firm in the bladder and kidney. Some stents may have a visible string that runs outside the body.
What Happens During Ureteral Stenting
Stenting is typically an outpatient procedure. You go home the same day. A urologist, a doctor who specializes in conditions that affect the urinary system, performs the procedure.
Before the procedure, you receive anesthesia. Most often, you have general anesthesia, so youre asleep. You lie on your back for the procedure. Your provider:
- Uses X-ray imaging or a kidney ultrasound to locate the obstruction and guide the procedure.
- Inserts a small scope device with a lens through the urethra and into the bladder. The urethra is the tube where urine leaves your body when you pee.
- Threads a thin, flexible wire through the cystoscope into the blocked ureter.
- Uses the guidewire to place the ureteral stent. A curled part of the stent sits in the kidney, while another curled part rests in the bladder. These coils hold the stent in place.
- Gently removes the guidewire and cystoscope, leaving the stent in place.
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