Refers to a thin tube inserted into the ureter to prevent or treat obstruction of the urine flow from the kidney.
It is usually placed with the aid of a cystoscope.
The length of the stents used in adult patients varies between 24 and 30 cm, and differ in diameters or gauges, to fit different size ureters.
To prevent movement one or both ends of the stent may be coiled ; this is called a JJ stent, double J stent or pig-tail stent.
They are used to ensure the openness of a ureter, that may be compromised by a kidney stone or a procedure.
Stent placement is used as a temporary measure, to prevent damage to a blocked kidney, until the stone can be removed.
Long-term indwelling stents may be used to hold ureters open, when they are compressed by tumors in the neighbourhood of the ureter or by tumors of the ureter itself.
Stents may also be placed in a ureter that has been manipulated during a ureteroscopy procedure that involves the removal of a stone.
Ureteral stent complications: dislocation, infection and blockage by encrustation, increased urgency and frequency of urination, blood in the urine, leakage of urine, pain in the kidney, bladder, or groin, and pain in the kidneys during, and for a short time after urination.
Stent associated symptoms are generally temporary and disappear with the removal of the stent.
To decrease or eliminate the increased urgency and frequency of urination agents used for the treatment of over active bladder are sometimes given.
Stents often have a thread, used for removal, that passes through the urethra and remains outside the body.
Pulling the thread may dislodge the stent.
Patients may carry on with most normal activities in the presence of the stent, however, there may be some discomfort during strenuous physical activity.
Sexual activity is also possible with a stent, but stents with a hanging thread may significantly inhibit such activity.
The stent also can rest on the prostate gland in men, and sexual activity may result in discomfort.
Stents with a thread may be removed in a matter rapidly by pulling on the thread.
Stents without a thread are removed via. cystoscopy.
Stent removal using only a topical anesthetic placed in the urethra is usually sufficient
A ureteric stent may also be retrieved by means of a magnetic removal system.