Stents are soft plastic tubes that help the kidney drain urine to the bladder. They may be inserted either:
- Before treatment, when there is a blockage caused by stones
- After treatment, until swelling goes down or stone fragments pass
What should I expect?
A stent may cause some discomfort, including:
- The need to urinate suddenly (urgency)
- The need to urinate often (frequency)
- Pain during urination (dysuria)
- Dull backache, which may get worse during urination
- Blood stained urine, like fruit punch, and occasional clots, which may increase with physical activity
What can I do to feel better?
- Take painkillers as prescribed and required
- Bladder relaxing drugs, such as Detrol or Ditropan, may be helpful in some circumstances
- Take a warm bath
- Understand that the stent is necessary and is only temporary
What should I NOT expect?
- Increasing back pain
- Large amounts of blood in the urine
- Leakage of urine (incontinence)
How does the stent get removed?
Stents are usually removed in a brief procedure in the urologist's office.
It is your responsibility to make sure your stent is removed: Stents that remain in too long can become encrusted. If this happens, you may require a surgical procedure to remove the stent and encrustations. Except in very select circumstances, stents should never be in the body for longer than three months.
What should I expect after my stent is removed?
- Brief increase in back pain about an hour after stent removal as the kidney fills before it starts to drain
- Bladder symptoms disappear within 24 to 48 hours
- Blood in urine disappears within 2 to 4 days