What Are the Side Effects of a Kidney Stone Stent?

A kidney with a kidney stone.
Kidney stones next to a ruler to show the size.
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  • Written By: A. Pasbjerg
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 26 November 2014
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Placing a kidney stone stent in the ureter between the kidney and the bladder can cause several unpleasant side effects. Patients often feel the need to urinate frequently and urgently, and when they do urinate, their bladder may not feel as if it has completely emptied. Some people may notice blood in their urine or may get an infection. The presence of the stent may be very noticeable, particularly during exercise or when the patient is in certain positions. There may be pain in the bladder, kidney, and surrounding areas in the abdomen as well.

Some of the primary side effects of a kidney stone stent are changes in the patient's urination. Many people complain that they feel like they have to urinate more frequently than normal. The urge to urinate may also be very sudden and intense, forcing people to rush to the bathroom. Once they have gone, the bladder may still feel somewhat full, causing them to feel like they need to go again right away.

Another issue that can occur is blood in the urine. This may be due to irritation of the bladder or the kidney by the ends of the stent located inside them. Typically, the issue resolves itself, and may also be helped by increased fluid intake.

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Infection can be another result of a kidney stone stent. Most times, the kidney is the location of a stent-related infection. Treatment with antibiotics may be needed to clear it up.

Being able to feel the kidney stone stent in the body is another issue many patients face. Unlike other hardware that is placed in the body that cannot be felt once it is there, a stent in the ureter is typically quite noticeable, and most patients have a constant awareness of it. Though it is made to be flexible and move with the body, certain activities or positions may be uncomfortable for some patients if it moves the stent too much.

For many patients with a kidney stone stent, pain is a problem. The pain can be local to the kidney and bladder area, or it may be felt more generally across the abdomen, side, and back. Pain may worsen after urination or physical activity. It is also sometimes possible for the stent to shift more into the bladder or the kidney, which can irritate either organ or in extreme cases lead to punctures.

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anon346540
Post 4

I had a kidney stent fitted in February, 2013, and I was informed that I would be called back to hospital for another procedure to remove the remainder of the stone in about four weeks. In fact, I was confined to the house for the next six months until mid-August, 2013 for further procedures. I came out of the hospital yesterday and am feeling very unwell with a lot back, side and groin pain and also feeling very sick. I am hopeful that in about four to six weeks, the surgeon will attempt to remove the remainder of the stones.

I am trying to stay positive, but finding it very difficult to do so. I feel so tired, everything is too much trouble and the days and nights are so long, I keep telling myself that this will pass but at the moment I am at rock bottom, has anyone else found that they feel so sick and what have they done for it.

umbra21
Post 3

@pleonasm - Really, I think the best thing in the long term for anyone is to just avoid the things that can create kidney stones in the first place.

For one thing, make sure you drink lots of water, because that will flush out your kidneys.

Drinking lots of juice and getting lots of calcium in your diet have also been shown to help, although I've heard having too much vitamin C (as in huge amounts, not just a regular amount) can increase your chances of kidney stones.

And not eating too much meat, which can also cause them.

Honestly, I have talked to women who have had to pass kidney stones and they reckon that it is more painful than even giving birth. And that's even without having a stent put in.

I am willing to drink more water per day in order to avoid having to deal with that.

pleonasm
Post 2

@indigomoth - Ideally you should try to prevent it getting to that point. If you do experience pain which could be kidney stones (and it usually shows up as pain in the back I think) you should get it checked out by a doctor. Leaving it for a long period without getting checked is going to make you wind up with a potentially bigger size of kidney stones, which might lead to the necessity of having a stent put in.

And remember that means two operations, one for putting in the stent and one for taking it out. It's pretty dangerous stuff.

This is even more true for people who know that they are vulnerable to getting kidney stones. Some people seem to get them all the time and they have to be even more vigilant than the general population.

indigomoth
Post 1

Putting in a kidney stent, from what I've heard, is quite a serious undertaking. Not because of the surgery itself, per sec, but because they only really go that far if the kidney is thought to be in danger.

Although they are making them smaller and smaller, so that, in theory they are less likely to cause these kinds of side effects.

But they can only make them so small before they stop working properly. After all, the point is to provide an area for drainage, so the stent itself has to be a certain size in order to work properly.

I guess they can try to make the materials thinner and safer and procedure less invasive though.

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