Ureters are the body’s tubes that connect the kidney to the bladder. A ureteral stent is a hollow tube placed in the ureter to facilitate passage of urine from the kidney to the bladder. Ureteral stents are used for a variety of reasons. They may be placed when a patient has obstruction from a kidney stone, tumor, infection, or stricture ( narrowing of the ureter).
Stents are placed either antegrade ( through the kidney – via the nephrostomy tube tract), or retrograde ( via the urethra) by sliding them over a soft “guidewire” which is placed in the ureter. The same stent should not stay in any longer than 3 months because stones can form on them – making removal difficult. A new stent can be exchanged over a wire every 3 months as indicated.