Treating Ureteral Blockage

To prevent or treat a blockage in a ureter (one of two long, narrow tubes through which urine travels from the kidneys to the bladder), the urologist may use a “ureteral stent.” This soft, hollow plastic tube is inserted into a ureter to help drain urine into the bladder. It has coils on each end to hold it in place in the kidney and the bladder. The stent, which can be used during treatment for a kidney stone or to allow a ureter to heal after surgery, is set in place with the help of a special x-ray machine known as a “fluoroscope.” Patients are given anesthesia during the procedure, after which they may experience mild discomfort.