Ureteral stents are used for keeping a ureter open, which is already compromised by conditions like kidney stones or some surgical procedures. Sometimes ureteral stents are implanted as a temporary measure to prevent damage to a blocked kidney, until a permanent procedure is performed to remove the renal stones.
During this procedure the urologist passes a small scope through the urethra into the bladder and then moves the scope up to the ureter, Implants a small tube (stent) in the ureter that drains urine from the kidney to the bladder.
What is a DJ Stent?
DJ stent or double “J” stent is a kind of ureteral stent. It is a small flexible tube placed in the ureter, from the kidney to urinary bladder & kept there for about six weeks. Both the ends of the tube are shaped like a usual ‘J’ with the lower end lies in the urinary bladder. This shape of the tube helps in retaining the stent in the body. DJ stents are commonly used to manage urinary obstruction.
- DJ stents maintains the ureters open all the time.
- It dilates the ureter so that the passage from the kidney to the urinary bladder enlarges upto 2-3 times of the normal. So facilitates the passage of small and medium sized stones.
- It helps in flushing stones out of the kidney. Movements of the patient i.e walking creates movement of urine that push stones through the stents.
- It helps in preventing strictures or narrowing of the ureter. If there is injury to the ureter, the healing process will makes the lumen of the ureter narrow. So Implanting DJ stent prevent this narrowing.
- As the stent is always patent so provides continuous path of flow for urine and prevents back pressure in the kidney and hydronephrosis.
- Helps to pass pus easily from the kidney to bladder.
- Used as precautionary measure in retroperitoneal surgeries, i.e surgery for uterine cancers.
Symptoms one may experience when a stent is in place includes
- Blood in urine
- Burning micturition
- Pain or discomfort in the bladder and sometimes in the urethra and genitals, or shortly we can say bladder irritative symptoms.
- The pain is marked after physical activities and after micturition.
- Fragmentation of the stent inside the body is a bad experience regarding ureteral stents.