Ureteric stent

A plastic tube that is inserted into your ureters, which are the tubes that carry urine from your kidney to your bladder

About

A ureteric stent is a thin plastic tube which can be inserted into your ureters (the tubes that carry urine from your kidney to your bladder) to relieve a blockage if one of your ureters is blocked. Having a ureteric stent inserted will prevent urine building up in your kidney which could damage it.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    You'll be asked to lie on your stomach on an X-ray table. Your radiologist will then cleanse the skin on your lower back and cover it with a sterile pad. Your radiologist will use either an ultrasound scan or X-ray to decide on the best location to access your kidney. They'll then inject you with a local anaesthetic to numb the area of insertion. Alternatively, you may have a nephrostomy (a thin plastic tube going into your kidney) in place from a previous procedure. Your radiologist will inject dye into your kidneys to highlight your ureters. They will then pass the ureteric stent into your ureter. Your urine should be able to pass the stent down into your bladder. The procedure usually takes around an hour.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Let your consultant know if you take any medicines and if you have any allergies. You may need to have a blood test to check that your blood clots normally. You should not eat for six hours before the procedure. You may drink water for up to two hours before the procedure.
  • Afterwards icon plus

    After the procedure, we'll transfer you to your ward to recover, which can take up to two hours. If you have a nephrostomy, your nurse will check it regularly and may measure the amount of fluid that is collected in the bag. Your radiologist will tell you how long the nephrostomy needs to stay in place (if it hasn’t been taken out already) and how long you will need to have the stent for. This will depend on why your ureter is blocked and if you need to have any further treatment, such as an operation. You can carry on with life as normal with the stent in place.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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