Ureteral stents are hollow, soft and plastic tubes placed on a temporary basis within the ureter to help in the drainage nearby the kidney stone or to increase the speed of healing process after undergoing a kidney stone surgery.
What is the Purpose of a Stent for Kidney Stones?
Doctors recommend placement of stents in patients suffering from the problem of kidney stones for many reasons:
To Reduce Pain and Avoid Infections
One of the major purposes of a stent for kidney stones is to help patients in reducing their pain from kidney stone and in avoiding infection, which remains present to help in the easy drainage.
When Kidney Fails to Operate Adequately
Urologists recommend a stent for kidney stones in patients, when the presence of a stone in a kidney prevents the kidney to work in an adequate manner. Placement of ureter stents takes place after kidney surgeries for stones, as in the case of ureteroscopy to help in both healing and prevention of ureter’s swelling.
To Assures the Ureter’s Patency
Purpose of a stent for kidney stones is to make sure about the patency of an individual’s ureter, which may sometimes compromise, particularly when there is a stone in the kidney or in a particular procedure.
Acts as a Temporary Measure to Blocked Kidney Damage
Urologists recommend for the placement of a stent for kidney stones to provide a temporary measure to prevent damages from a blocked kidney until and unless they follow a specific surgical procedure to remove the stone.
To Deal with Inoperable Tumors
Most of the times, 12 months or higher indwelling times indicate keeping of the ureters in open condition, which further gets compressed due to tumor present in the nearby region of the ureter or because of the ureteral tumor itself. In most of the cases, these are of inoperable tumors and hence, to come up with an appropriate solution, doctors place stents to make sure easy drainage of the urine from the ureter. Reason for this is very simple, if patients and doctors compromise the drainage for a long time, it may cause damage to the kidney.
To Avoid Spasm of the Ureter
Urologists place stents inside a scratched or irritated ureter at the time of performing ureteroscopy procedure, which involves the removal of stone i.e. a basket grab process. In this case, doctors place the stents for one week to make sure about avoiding the problem of spasm in the ureter and end it after the trauma ends associated with the complete procedure.
Benefits of Ureteral Stent Placement
Insertion of a Ureteral stent gives the following important benefits-
- Kidney stent helps in draining the urine from kidney of a patient
- Kidney stent helps in healing of the urinary tract
- Kidney stent is beneficial in reducing swelling in both kidney and urethra areas
- Kidney stent reduces the risk related to a few severe complications, which include ureter blockage because of blood clot, stone fragment or stone and swelling problem.
How is Ureteral Stent Placed?
Urologists place stents at the time of surgery only. For this, they slide the stent on a soft wire and later on, place it over the ureter, which refers to a tube that drains into the kidney. During the end of surgical process, doctor places a stent within the ureter by the help of an X-ray or a scope. Stent in case of an adult is of 22cm to 30cm in length and it extends to the bladder from the kidney by using a coil on each end for holding the kidney stent in its place. Stent thus dilates the ureter to help in passing of the urine towards the bladder from kidney. In this case, doctors may leave an attached string to the kidney stent to remove it following surgery and may tap it to the stomach or leg.
- Kidney Stones or Renal Calculus: Types, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Treatment, Investigations
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