A ureteral stent is a tiny, hollow tube that runs from the kidney to the bladder and stays in place for several weeks after a kidney stone procedure. A stent helps you in three important ways:
- It holds your ureter open. Your ureter has some normal swelling after a kidney stone procedure. The stent keeps this swelling from blocking the ureter.
- It prevents severe pain after a procedure. If your ureter is swollen shut, you can have severe stone-like pain for 3 to 7 days. With a stent, urine flows freely and you don't experience this pain.
- It can widen the ureter so small stone fragments pass more easily. A stent also causes its own temporary difficulties -- ask your doctor what to expect.