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Urethral Stent Placement

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 31, 2022.

What do I 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 do I 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, 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.

What are the 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.

Care Agreement

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

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