Urethral Stent Placement
What you need to know about urethral stent placement:
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.
How to prepare for urethral stent placement:
Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for this procedure. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your procedure. The provider will also tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure. You may be given an antibiotic through your IV to help prevent a bacterial infection. Arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure.
What will happen during urethral stent placement:
- You may be given general anesthesia to keep you asleep and free from pain during the procedure. You may instead be given local anesthesia to numb your urethra. With local anesthesia, you may still feel pressure or pushing during the procedure, but you should not feel any pain. Your healthcare provider may use an endoscope to help place your stent. An endoscope is a long bendable tube with a light and camera at the end. Your healthcare provider will use x-rays and contrast liquid to find the area where the stent needs to be placed.
- A thin wire will be inserted past the blocked or narrowed area of your urethra. A catheter (thin tube) with a balloon attached will be placed over the wire. The balloon on the catheter will be inflated to widen your urethra. The stent will then be put into your urethra in the area of the blockage. Once the stent is in place, the wire and catheter will be removed.
What will happen after urethral stent placement:
The stent may cause pain when you urinate. You may also have pain in your perineum (the area between your genitals and rectum). If you are male, you may have pain during an erection. You may also need to urinate more frequently than normal. You may leak urine after you urinate.
Risks of urethral stent placement:
The wire used during the procedure may tear your urethra and cause you to have pain, bleeding, or blood clots in your urine. The stent may loosen, move out of place, or become blocked over time. 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 and cause decreased kidney function or failure. Kidney failure can become life-threatening. Even with a stent placement, you may get new strictures or blockages in your urethra.
Seek care immediately if:
- You have a fever and chills.
- You have blood or discharge pus in your urine.
- You have severe pain in your lower abdomen or lower back.
- You have trouble urinating, or pain when you urinate.
Contact your healthcare provider or urologist if:
- You have pain in your lower abdomen.
- You feel like you need to urinate more often than usual.
- You have pain in the area between your anus and your genitals.
- You are male and have pain with an erection.
- You have pain during or after sex.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
You may need any of the following:
- Antibiotics help prevent or treat a bacterial infection.
- Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Ask your healthcare provider when it is okay for you to return your usual activities, such as returning to work. Ask when it is okay to have sex.
Follow up with your healthcare provider or urologist as directed:
You may need more tests or procedures. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.