Ureteric Stents

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Ureteric stents are quite commonly used in neurology. 

They’re thin plastic tubes, they have a curl at the top and a curl down the bottom and basically they're placed between the kidney and the bladder and they allow urine to come through from the kidney to the bladder. 

Usually we place them if there’s any obstruction or blockage to the urinary system, that might be from the stricture or the scarring or some other pathology outside causing a blockage and most commonly they’re used when people have kidney stones and we put a little plastic tube in, bypass the stone, it allows urine to come through, the patient’s pain settles down and particularly if they’ve got an infection it allows the infection to drain.

Now sometimes after we do ureterioscopy where we go up with a telescope and break the stone and treat the stone we put a stent in. 

The reason we do that is when we do a ureterioscopy the tube goes into spasm and it closes off and patients can get quite severe pain or there might be some stone fragments causing a blockage, so we leave this stent in. 

Sometimes patients have them in there and they cause no pain at all. 

Other times they can cause quite a lot of irritation in the bladder area with patients having urgency, frequency, going very often. 

Other times when people pass urine they can get pain up in their kidneys and the urine going back up the stent. 

Sometimes patients might find arching backwards or bending forward and closing their fist deep down the pelvis trying to kick the stent when they pass urine they might find those manoeuvres of some benefit. 

So usually it’s normal to have some pain and discomfort after the stent. 

It’s usually normal to have some blood from irritation but it usually settles down. 

The stent can be taken out either under local anaesthetic gel with a flexible telescope or sometimes under a light anaesthetic we might go back in and check that there’s no stones present.

So (1.51) stents are very, very useful, they’re used very often for patients, the really important thing to remember for patients is that once you have a stent you must ensure that it comes out. 

If it’s left for too long you can form stones over it, it can form a major problem.