If you have kidney stones, you may receive a ureteral stent. This is a soft, hollow, plastic tube placed in the ureter (the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder). The top portion of the stent has a small curl that sits in the kidney and the opposite ends curls in the bladder.
The stent allows urine to drain easily from the kidney into the bladder.
The stent is often used when there is a blockage in the ureter (for example, from a kidney stone) and allows urine to drain around the blockage.
This helps decrease the pain associated with the blockage (i.e. kidney stone) and allows your kidney to function as normal as possible. In some cases, you may get a stent if you also have an infection associated with the kidney stone. In this case, it would help drain the infected urine.
If your kidney stone requires surgery, a stent may also be placed in the ureter after kidney stone surgery to allow your ureter to heal and to protect it from swelling. Ureteral stents can also help your ureter heal if there is any damage from other causes.
The stent may cause some discomfort, but you can continue your normal activities with a stent in place. Removing the stent requires a minor in-office procedure by your doctor.