A person with kidney stones sometimes needs a ureteral stent, which allows urine to drain easily from the kidney into the bladder. The stent is a soft, hollow, plastic tube about 8 -11 inches long. It is placed in the ureter-which is the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder.
One end of the stent sits inside the kidney and the other end sits in the bladder. The stent gently coils in the kidney and in the bladder. The coils are what helps hold it in place.
The stent is often used when a kidney stone causes a blockage in the ureter. The stent allows urine to drain around the blockage. This helps lessen the pain caused by the stone and allows your kidney to function more normally. In some cases, a person may get a stent if they have an infection caused by a kidney stone.
The stent helps drain the infected urine. If you need surgery to remove the kidney stone, a stent may be placed in the ureter after surgery. This allows the ureter to heal and protects it from swelling.
The length of time the stent remains in the ureter depends on the reason it was placed. Some stents can be removed after a few days, while others stay in place longer. When your doctor decides you no longer need the stent, it is usually removed in their office through a procedure that takes only a few minutes.