A double J stent is a soft tube that is placed during surgery. This tube has a curl at both ends
designed to prevent the stent from moving down into the bladder or up into the kidney. Some stents
have a string attached to them which exits from the urethra. Stents are placed in the ureter which is
the tube that runs from the kidney to the bladder.
Why is a stent placed?
A stent is placed to prevent or relieve a blockage in the ureter. After
many stone surgeries the small pieces of stone can drop down into the
ureter and block it, causing severe pain and occasionally infection. A
stent allows the ureter to dilate, which makes it easier for stones or
stone fragments to pass.
Other surgeries in which stents are used includes:
• Removal of tumors from either the ureter or the
• Repair of scars in the ureter
• Removal of tumors from around the ureter
What does it feel like to have a stent in your ureter?
The stent opens up the valve that prevents urine backing up into the
kidney from the bladder when you urinate. This means that when you
urinate, especially at the end, you may feel a slight tugging or stretching
sensation in your back. If someone is very skinny or has very large
back muscles, the stent sometimes can push on a nerve lying in the
back of the abdomen, producing a temporary burning sensation in the
back or in the upper thigh.
Most people will have some bladder irritation, especially at the end
of urination. Often there is some frequency and burning with urination.
The stent can scratch the bladder lining so a small amount of bleeding can be expected either from
the stent or the operation for which the stent was needed. Try to force fluids to flush out the bladder.
Drink enough fluid to keep the urine watermelon colored or clearer. This bleeding may last as long as
the stent is in place.
What can be done to treat the symptoms?
If you are having nerve irritation, try to decrease your activity, soak in a warm bath and take pain
Should you have problems with urinary urgency, frequency and/or bladder discomfort, there are
several medicines that we can give you:
• Pyridium is a bladder anesthetic that will decrease irritation from the stent. This
medicine makes the bladder less sensitive. It normally turns the urine a deep pumpkin
orange. This medicine is taken three times a day on an as-needed basis.
• If bladder spasms are severe, or you are bothered by severe urinary frequency or
urgency, you may take a bladder-relaxant medicine such as Detrol or Ditropan. They
do have side effects of dry mouth, constipation, dry eyes and occasional difficulty
emptying the bladder out. If these side effects are too bothersome, stop the medicine.
Should the side effects be less bothersome, cut the dose of medicine in half.
Stents are left in for varying lengths of time depending upon the reason for which the stent was
placed. Talk to your doctor about how long you can expect to have to keep your stent. Stents
usually are not left in for longer than three (3) months. IF YOUR STENT HAS BEEN LEFT IN FOR
LONGER THAN 3 MONTHS, CONTACT YOUR UROLOGIST.
Stents with a string attached are pulled out gently by the patient, nurse or doctor. Stents without
strings are removed in the urologist’s office by using a cystoscope to look in the bladder. It is
recommended to drink 2 - 3 cups of fluid immediately after the stent is removed. You can expect
some pain in the side or lower abdomen; some burning with urination and some blood in the urine for
2 - 3 days after the stent is removed