A ureteric stent is a thin plastic tube that was inserted into your ureter (the tube which connects the kidney to the bladder) when you had your kidney transplant to ensure you were able to pass urine after the operation. Stents are not designed to be in the body for a long period of time and are usually removed between four and six weeks after a kidney transplant
In the vast majority of endoscopic kidney stone procedures, ureteral stents are left in the ureter to both prevent obstruction of the kidney and facilitate passage of fragments of stone. It is imperative that the urologist explain to the patient that these devices are temporary and must be removed within a reasonable timeframe after surgery— usually a few weeks to a month.
Appropriate follow-up for removal is especially critical during emergency procedures and/or when patients are traveling and a stent is placed by a urologist far from the patient’s normal medical providers. Many urologists and institutions use stent tracking software systems to ensure these devices are removed.
As with all surgical procedures, close attention to appropriate antibiotic prophylaxis is very important in kidney stone surgery. It is important that urologists assess the appropriate perioperative antibiotics based on local resistance patterns, patient factors, and results of previous urine cultures. Additionally, obtaining samples of urine from the bladder, kidney and, if possible, an indwelling stent or nephrostomy tube (if one is present) at the time of surgery can assist in the management of post-op infections.
Operations for kidney stones comprise a significant portion of urologic practice and are thus a common cause of medical liability legal action. The urologist should identify and treat a handful of serious complications when performing kidney stone surgery. Of particular interest are retained ureteral stents, perforation of the ureter, and infectious complications of urinary stone surgery.