What is Ureteral Stent Treatment for Kidney Stones?
The ureter is a muscular tube that allows urine, made in the kidney, to move into the bladder. Narrowing of the ureter from a surgery or a kidney stone may be a reason for a ureteral stent. Your child may need a ureteral stent if a kidney stone causes a blockage in the urinary tract.
A ureteral stent is a soft, hollow tube that is placed temporarily into the ureter. The stent allows the urine to drain. The stent has a coil on each end that keeps it from moving. The top end coils in the kidney and the lower end coils inside the bladder. Your child can move around normally while the stent is in the ureter, but should not do any strenuous activities.
The urologist places the stent while your child is asleep under anesthesia. The stent cannot be seen from the outside of the body. It will remain in place for several weeks. Your child’s doctor will remove the stent in the operating room. Sometimes the doctor may attach the stent to a string and send you home with instructions on how to pull the stent out at home.
- Possibility of urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Stent dislodging - sudden pain, decreased urine output, vomiting
When to Call the Doctor
- Fever of 101.5° or greater
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Large amount of bloody urine with clots that is thick like BBQ sauce (Fruit punch color urine is ok)
- Extreme back pain that is not relieved by pain medicine
- Trouble urinating or not being able to urinate
While the stent is in place it is important to:
- Drink extra fluids (like water and lemonade)
- Avoid constipation
- Avoid soda and caffeinated drinks
The stent may be uncomfortable. There may be more discomfort or bleeding with more activity. The pain and bleeding will improve with rest. Your child may be given medicines to control pain and bladder spasms. It is important to avoid strenuous activities and contact sports while the stent is in place.
What to Expect
While the stent is in place, you may expect to see:
- Blood in the urine: fruit punch color is ok. Please call the doctor if you have thick urine with clots, like BBQ sauce.
- Bladder spasms
- Burning with urination
- Back pain with increased activity
- Urge to urinate frequently
Diet / Activity
- Increase water and clear fluids.
- Avoid strenuous activity and contact sports.