Some benefits of a kidney stone removal stent are that it promotes healing of the ureter, allows urine to flow instead of being obstructed and provides relief from an obstruction, notes The Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center. A stent is a hollow tube that keeps an opening in place until a kidney stone is removed or healing occurs after the removal.
A stent can save a patient's life even before a surgeon removes a kidney stone. When a stone blocks urine flow, infection can form in the urine upstream. This can lead to sepsis, a serious condition that causes organ failure and low blood pressure, states WakeMed Physician Practices. If infection is present, using a stent and administering antibiotics allow draining of the infected urine to take place so surgery is safe for the patient.
An obstructed urine flow leads to a buildup of pressure in the kidney and ureter, which is the cause of kidney stone pain. After the stone is removed, the ureter is swollen and inflamed as a side effect of the procedure. This swelling can result in the ureter becoming closed off, blocking urine flow and causing pain again. Placing a stent allows the ureter to remain open so urine can flow freely until the ureter heals, reports WakeMed Physician Practices.
Ureter stents are inserted into the bladder via the urethra with the aid of a ureteroscope. The procedure is performed with general anesthesia. Stents usually remain in the bladder for one week after removal of the kidney stone. Some patients experience pain from the stent, which can be lessened with medication, according to The Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center.