Urethral Stent Placement
What you should know
Urethral stent placement is a procedure to open a blockage or stricture (narrowing) of your urethra. The urethra is the tube that carries urine from your bladder out of your body. A stent is a small plastic or metal tube used to open your narrowed urethra. A urethral stent may stay in for a short or long period of time.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- You may have an allergic response to the medicines used during your procedure. The wire used during the procedure may tear your urethra and cause pain, bleeding, or blood clots in your urine. The stent may loosen, move out of place, or become blocked over time. The stent may cause an infection, pain when you urinate, or an increased feeling that you need to urinate. If the stent becomes blocked, you may have trouble urinating. This may lead to abdominal pain or an infection. Stones may form in your kidneys, cause decreased kidney function or failure, and become life-threatening. Even with a stent placement, you may get new strictures or blockages in your urethra.
- If you do not have a urethral stent placed, your condition may become worse. Your urine flow may become blocked and cause stones to form in your bladder and kidneys. This may lead to pain, or a urinary tract or kidney infection. Your kidneys may not be able to function properly. This may become life-threatening.
Before your procedure:
- Arrange to have someone drive you home from the hospital. Do not drive yourself home.
- Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- A cystoscopy may also be done to look at your bladder, urethra, and the size of your blockage. During this procedure, your caregiver will use a scope to look inside your bladder. You may also need to have urine tests done before your procedure. Ask your caregiver for more information about these and other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
The day of your procedure:
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.
- Antibiotics: You may receive this medicine to prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
- An anesthesiologist may talk to you before your surgery. This caregiver may give you medicine to make you sleepy before your procedure or surgery. Tell your caregiver if you or anyone in your family has had a problem using anesthesia in the past.
What will happen:
- You may be given local anesthesia medicine to numb your urethra and decrease pain. You may also get general anesthesia in your IV or as a gas you breathe to keep you asleep. Your caregiver may use an endoscope to help place your stent. An endoscope is a long bendable tube with a light and camera at the end. He may use fluoroscopy (a type of x-ray) to check the location of the catheter. He may put a dye into your urethra and your bladder to help see the stricture better on x-ray.
- A thin wire will be inserted past the blocked or narrowed area of your urethra. A catheter (thin tube) with a balloon attached may be placed over the wire. The balloon on the catheter will be inflated to widen your narrowed urethra. The stent will be put into your urethra, over the wire, to the area of the blockage. Once the stent is in place, the wire and catheter will be removed. An x-ray may be done to check if the stent is in the proper place inside your urethra.
After your procedure:
You will be taken to a room where you will rest until you are fully awake. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you may be able to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken back to your hospital room.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your procedure.
- You feel like you need to urinate more often than usual.
- Your bladder feels full even after you have urinated.
Seek Care Immediately if
- You are urinating less than usual, or not at all.
- You have a fever or chills.
- You have blood in your urine, or you have more blood in your urine than before.
- You have severe pain in your abdomen or lower back.
- You have pain or a burning feeling when you urinate.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.