A ureteral (say "you-REE-ter-ul") stent is a thin, hollow tube that is put in the ureter to help urine pass from the kidney into the bladder. Ureters are the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder.
A ureteral stent is put in when something is blocking the ureter. The blockage can be caused by problems such as a kidney stone, scar tissue, a tumor, or an infection. A stent may be needed after surgery on the ureter or kidney.
A blocked ureter can cause urine to back up into the kidneys. This can hurt the kidneys. It can also cause an infection.
The doctor will place the stent by guiding it through the urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. Then the doctor will guide the stent through the bladder and ureter and into the kidney. The doctor will make sure one end of the stent is in the kidney and the other end is in the bladder. No cuts are made in the body.
A ureteral stent may be left in place for several days or for as long as several months. The longer the stent is in the ureter, the more likely it is to cause side effects. Side effects include:
A need to urinate more often.
A sudden need to urinate.
A feeling that the bladder is not completely empty after urinating.
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Tushar J Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology