Ureteral Catheter Removal- Urology

What is ureteral stent/catheter?

A ureteral catheter/stent is a thin, soft, flexible tube (10-12 inches long). It is inserted into the ureter, which is a muscular tube that helps to drain urine from the kidney to the bladder. The catheter is placed such a way that one end of the tube stays inside the kidney and the other end is in the bladder.

A urologist (doctor who has specialized in treatment of the diseases of male and female urinary tract) and an interventional radiologist are the physicians who might be involved in this procedure.

Why is ureteral catheter/stent required?

Ureteral stenting is helpful to restore urine flow from blocked ureters and thus helps kidneys to function normally. In various conditions such as kidney stones, infection, blood clot, surgery, or tumor, the ureters get obstructed. In order to restore the urine flow from kidney to bladder, ureteral catheter/stent is used.

How is ureteral catheter/stent removed?

Ureteral stents can be removed at a clinic by cystoscopy. Cystoscopy can be done only in few minutes. During cystoscopy local anesthetic agent (lidocaine) is instilled into the urethra. This will numb the area to make the procedure painless. After this, the doctor would insert the cystoscope through the urethra into the bladder. A cystoscope is a flexible, fibre-optic tube with a tiny video camera on one end. This helps the doctor to view patient’s urinary system on a screen. Patient’s bladder is filled with sterile water to visualize the stent clearly. The doctor will press a button on the cystoscope to release a tool (a grabber) that is attached to the end of the scope. The grabber will carefully clench the end of the stent and the cystoscope and stent are slowly taken out of the patient’s body.

What to expect after the procedure?

Once the stent is removed, patient may have some infrequent urination, burning with urination, small clots and bloody urine. Patient may also suffer from pain due to ureteral spasms. After the procedure patient should drink plenty of water. Patient may be advised to take stool softener to avoid constipation. Specific pain killers such as ibuprofen are also prescribed.



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About the Author:

Dr. Anand Lakhkar is a physician scientist from India. He completed his basic medical education from India and his postgraduate training in pharmacology from the United States. He has a MS degree in pharmacology from New York Medical College, a MS degree in Cancer/Neuro Pharmacology from Georgetown University and a PhD in Pharmacology from New York Medical College where he was the recipient of the Graduate Faculty Council Award for academic and research excellence.  His research area of expertise is in pulmonary hypertension, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular pharmacology.  He has multiple publications in international peer-reviewed journals and has presented his research at at prestigious conferences.

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