Common side effects related to ureteral stents include urinary symptoms such as burning or blood when urinating, a frequent urge to urinate, or bladder spasms, states KidneyStoners.org. Patients may also experience pain or discomfort in the back or bladder.
The level of discomfort that side effects may cause a patient range from mildly irritating to extremely painful, according to KidneyStoners.org. Medication may be given to reduce the discomfort or other symptoms related to a stent. As of 2015, the most effective medications are alpha-blocker drugs such as Flomax or Uroxatral. Traditional pain medications generally are not particularly effective against stent discomfort.
Kidney stents are used to alleviate or circumvent an obstruction and provide drainage for the kidneys, states Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Other reasons for kidney stent placement include to promote healing of the ureter after a procedure, to assist in dilation of the ureter before a patient undergoes a ureteroscopy, or to prevent complications by assisting in placement of a guidewire. Stents are typically removed in a doctor's office in less than a minute with local anesthetic placed in the urethra. If a stent is prescribed for long-term use, it is recommended that it be changed every six months.