What is a ureteric stent and what problems might it cause?

ureteric stent is a long thin plastic tube that is inserted into the ureter (the tube that joins the kidney to the bladder). It is held in position by a curl at the top, which sits inside the kidney, and a curl at the bottom, which sits inside the bladder. It is used to drain the kidney if there is a blockage within the ureter. It may also be used after surgery (such as telescopic examination of the ureter) in which there has be some stretching or damage to the ureter; when it helps to prevent blockage of the tube during healing.

…a long thin plastic tube that is inserted into the ureter…

A stent can cause problems, such as pain in the kidney on passing urine, a feeling of needing to pass urine more often than normal, discomfort, infection or bleeding in the urine. Stents are usually only used for short periods of time and should not be left for more than 6-12 months without removing or changing. Removing a stent usually requires a cystosopcy under local anaesthetic, at which point the stent can be grasped and pulled out, without too much discomfort.