A ureteric stent is put into place by first putting the patient under general anesthesia and then, using a cystoscope, the stent is inserted into the bladder via the urethra using a guidewire, and then pushed deeper all the way into the kidneys. Another way of inserting a ureteric stent, apart from cystoscopy, is by using X-ray and fluoroscopy. Once it is confirmed that the stent is in place, usually by looking it via X-ray, the guidewire is removed.
Also referred to as ureteral stents, ureteric stents are narrow flexible tubes that are designed to go from the bladder through the urethra and into the kidneys. There are several indications as to why ureteric stenting is recommended for patients.
The Wexner Medical Center website cites numerous indications as the basis for ureteric stenting procedures. These include providing proper drainage when the ureter is blocked, usually by kidney stones, narrowing ureter or cancer; providing support to a weak ureter and help it heal faster; to aid in ureteroscopy; and to bypass other forms of internal or external obstructions.
Without proper kidney drainage due to blockage or through any other cause, pressure builds up in the kidneys placing undo stress on the organ. This can lead to several complications, such as stagnation of the urine, more damage to the kidneys and infection. The stent may stay in place for only a few days or for several weeks depending on the patient's condition and the recommendation of the supervising physician.