Principles of the procedure
This procedure is performed to unblock an obstructed ureter, usually due to a stone. Under a general anaesthetic, a cystoscopy is performed and under X-ray guidance, contrast is inserted into the ureter giving a picture of the drainage system of the kidney and ureter. A flexible, silicone stent is then inserted internally, with an end in the kidney and the other in the bladder. This is then removed or changed at a later date, as determined by your Urologist.
You will either be admitted on the day of the procedure or already be an inpatient in hospital. A recent urine test should be performed (within 2 weeks of the surgery) to ensure that you do not have a urine infection. No other specific preparation is needed apart from fasting from about 6 hours prior to the surgery. You should continue to take your usual medications unless directed by your Urologist or his anaesthetist. Please inform us if you are taking any anticoagulant (blood thinning) medication.
Expected Post-Operative Recovery
Most patients are discharged home either the same day as the procedure or the following day. You may need to stay in hospital for a longer period for intravenous antibiotics if there are signs of an infected urinary system.
The majority of people tolerate stents without any symptoms. Occasionally some people get initial irritation from the stent that mimics renal colic pain. This settles in the majority of patients after 24 to 48 hours. Some blood staining of the urine can occur after you go home, though this almost always settles by keeping your oral intake of fluids up. The stent is generally a temporary measure and definitive treatment, including removal of the stent will usually be booked by your Urologist prior to or shortly after home. It is important that if you change general practitioner or Urologist that you inform them of the presence of the stent so that is not ‘forgotten’.
Risks – as per your discussion with your Urologist
Dysuria and bladder irritation
Stent irritation, flank discomfort
Urine or systemic infection, requiring re-admission
Ureteric injury or inability to insert stent
Need for further procedure for definitive treatment