The ureter is the tube that transports urine from the kidney in the upper abdomen to the bladder in the pelvis. A ureteric stent is a hollow flexible plastic tube placed within the ureter to ensure that the ureter remains patent. There is a curl on each end of the stent. The upper end curls in the kidney and the lower end in the bladder. This procedure is most commonly performed for a ureteric or kidney stone but may also be performed for any other cause of blockage to the ureter.

Pre operation

Ten days prior to the procedure you should have your blood and urine test.

Notify Mr Thyer’s rooms if you are:

  • Taking any blood thinning medication
  • Female and under the age of 50 (a pregnancy check is required before this procedure as X-rays are used)
  • Allergic to iodine or any radiologic contrast

Note: A ureteric stent is often placed in the acute setting so the above instructions will not be applicable to all patients.

The procedure

On arrival at hospital you will be prepared for theatre by nursing staff. Mr Thyer will see you just prior to being taken into the operating theatre. You will require a general anaesthetic of approximately 15 minutes. Mr Thyer will introduce a cystoscope into your bladder via the urethra. No skin incision is required. The ureteric stent will be fed along a thin flexible wire until it is sitting in the correct position in the ureter. Following the procedure, the ward nurse will check you have passed urine then you will be sent home usually the same day but an overnight stay is occasionally required particularly if there is suspected infection or poor kidney function.

Risks
  • Bleeding. Blood in the urine is common and usually lasts until the stent is removed.
  • Infection. This occurs in less than 5% but depends on period of stenting.
  • Urinary retention. Rarely you may not be able to pass urine after the procedure and you may be discharged with a catheter to be removed after one week.
  • Bladder irritation. It is normal to have urgency and frequency of urination.
  • Stent discomfort. This is pain felt in the flank. Rest, Panadol, Nurofen and Ural can all be of assistance and can be purchased from the Pharmacist.
  • Failed ureteric access. In about 10% of cases the ureter can be too tight for the stent to pass to the desired position. In this situation Mr Thyer will discuss alternate options with you.
  • There are risks with any general anaesthetic which are very rare including blood clots, heart or lung problems and adverse drug reactions. The anaesthetist will discuss these with you at the time of the procedure.
Follow up

You should take laxatives, drink plenty of water and avoid heavy lifting for 3 weeks following the procedure. Mr Thyer’s rooms will contact you to arrange follow up.

When to contact Mr Thyer

Following the procedure, you should contact Mr Thyer if you:

  • Have a fever over 38 Degrees
  • Are unable to pass urine
  • Have large clots in the urine
  • Have not received a follow up appointment
  • You can contact Mr Thyer via his rooms during working hours or after hours via the after hours nurse at Hollywood Hospital on (08) 9346 6000.

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