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How are stents used to treat kidney stones in women?

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Ureteric stents are soft, hollow tubes surgically placed to allow urine and kidney stones to easily pass from the kidneys, through the ureter, to the bladder, according to KidneyStoners.org.To keep the ureter's opening wide enough for stones to pass and allow injured tissue to heal, a surgeon may insert a stent for a period of a few days to a few months.

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When suffering from kidney stones, the body's thin, tubular ureter that connects the kidneys to the bladder can become inflamed, causing the opening to narrow, explains the Encyclopedia of Surgery. If the ureter is too narrow, then urine and stones cannot pass, causing pain, infection and other complications.

Sometimes, a stone may pass out of the kidney and into the ureter, where it gets stuck and blocks the flow of urine. In that case, a stent holds the ureter open and allows both urine flow and a clear path for the stone to follow, according to the Encyclopedia of Surgery. In other cases, a surgeon may remove a larger kidney stone surgically, then insert a stent so that the passageway from the kidney to the bladder remains clear while the affected tissue in the kidney or ureter heals.

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