The ureters are the tubes that connect each kidney to the bladder. A stent is a small, soft, hollow tube placed in the ureter. Stents improve urine drainage from the kidney(s). A small scope is inserted into the urine channel (urethra) and then into the bladder and up to the ureter. The stent can be placed while awake or it can be done while asleep in the operating room. This is an outpatient procedure. A stent can be removed during a clinic visit or in the operating room based on your needs. A urine sample is required before stent placement, removal, or change.
Purpose of a Stent
There are different reasons a person may need a stent. It may be needed before a procedure or surgery. The purpose of a stent is to:
Open a blockage in the kidney or ureter caused by a stone, stricture, tumor, or swelling
Help with healing after kidney stone surgery
Improve the passage of stone fragments
Help dilate (open) the ureter to keep urine flowing
After Getting a Stent
Go back to your normal eating habits. Drink at least 6-8 (8oz) glasses of fluid daily. You may want to limit fluids after the evening meal to avoid getting up to go to the bathroom at night.
If you had anesthesia, do not drink any alcoholic drinks for the first 2 days after the placement. This includes beer and wine. Alcohol does not mix with anesthesia and may make you sick.
Resume your normal routine, but rest if you have pain or blood in your urine. Avoid strenuous activities for 1 week after stent placement.
If your doctor orders antibiotics, be sure to take all of them. You may have pain pills to take. Follow the instructions closely.
You may feel like you have to pass urine more often. The stent may cause a burning feeling when you pass urine. This is normal and will decrease with time. You may have blood in your urine. If so, drink more fluids.
You will have a follow-up visit. It is very important that you do not miss or delay your follow-up visit.
When to Call
Call the doctor if you notice any of these signs.
Unable to pass urine
Large blood clots in the urine
Severe pain not controlled with pain pills
Cloudy or foul-smelling urine
Red or bloody urine after 3 days
Fever over 100° F by mouth
Who to Call
UW Health Urology: 608-263-4757
UW Health at The American Center Urology: 608-440-6464
UW Health One South Park Urology: 608-287-2900
After Hours, Nights, Weekends, and Holidays
The clinic number is answered by the paging operator. Ask for the Urology doctor on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
Toll Free: 1-844-607-4800