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Treatment / Ureteral Stents

Ureteral Stent Placement

You may need a ureteral stent when something is blocking the normal path that your urine takes to leave your body. Urine from your kidneys passes through thin, narrow tubes called ureters. Your ureters are connected to your bladder where urine is stored for a time before you urinate. When your ureters become blocked and urine stays in your kidneys it can lead to serious damage and illness. A ureteral stent keeps the ureter open if it is narrowed or blocked. It can also be used to continue urine flow while a damaged ureter heals.

Am I a Candidate for a Ureteral Stent Placement?

When you are referred to IVC for placement of a ureteral stent, your vascular and interventional radiologist will review your medical history and any diagnostic testing, which could include ultrasound, CT or MRI.

This procedure may be done due to the following conditions:

  • Kidney or ureter stones
  • Tumors
  • Tear or rupture of the ureter from trauma
  • Complications from medical problems
  • Infection
  • Pressure on the ureter from nearby structures
  • Blood clots

What to Expect from the Procedure

Ureteral stent placement is typically performed as an outpatient procedure with conscious sedation. Your interventional radiologist will use x-ray to help guide the stent to the appropriate location. A needle will be used to inject a special contrast material through the skin and into the kidneys. The contrast material will make the kidneys and ureter visible.

Using image guidance, the doctor will insert a guide wire into the ureter. The stent is run over the guide wire and placed in its permanent position within the ureter. Once the stent has been placed, the guide wire may be removed, or a nephrostomy catheter may be left in place for a day or two and then removed.

Recovery

This procedure typically lasts one hour; after your ureteral stent is placed you will rest in a recovery area for a while before you are sent home. You should be able to resume your normal activities within a few days.

During recovery it is important to alert your doctor to any problems. Should any of the following occur, call the office:

  • Signs of urinary tract infection, including fever, pain during urination, general feeling unwell
  • Amount of blood in the urine increases
  • Pain that doesn’t go away with the pain medications you’ve been given
  • New or worsening symptoms

Stents may be required for short or long periods of time. Long-term stents will need to be replaced at regular intervals, often within 3 months of placement. Removal or replacement can be done with similar procedures.

If you have any questions related to ureteral stent placement call IVC today at 503-612-0498. You can also read our brochure on Kidneys and Dialysis.

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