Removal of My Kidney Stent
by Charlene Crosthwaite
Today, 5th September 2013, I finally had my kidney stent removed.
My stent was inserted the 21st of June 2013 to push a large (1.7 centimeter) stone out of my left ureter and back into my kidney to allow the urine to drain. Although uncomfortable at times, dealing with the stent was much easier than dealing with the blockage!
I have read and heard the horror stories about the removal of kidney stents, which caused me to wonder and worry about what was going to happen during the process.
Well...stop worrying! Having the stent removed isn't a picnic, but it's not nearly as bad as some make it out to be. At my appointment, I was of course asked for a urine specimen (they need to continue to check for infections) and my husband was ushered into "the room".
My greatest wish while sitting on the examination table was that the x-ray that was taken on Tuesday would show that the stones were completely gone. I felt at this point that the anticipation was the worst part. Although the appointment was to remove the kidney stent, I'd gone through this on an earlier appointment only to have the decision made to try another lithotripsy instead, so the stent stayed in at that point. The doctor entered the room and read my newest report and then went over the other reports. At this point I've been through two lithotripsies.
The doctor explained that there seemed to be a large amount of stone pieces in the ureter even though he concentrated part of the waves on that area at the last blasting. He also explained that he felt that it would be better to remove the stent at this stage. He went on to explain that sometimes when a stent has been in place for a while, it's possible for the stones and pieces to stick to the stent and make removal more difficult. He told me that the only stones left in the kidney were left in the lower portion or lower pole of the kidney. He told me to get ready and he would be back in a few minutes and remove the stent.
The nurse came back in to help me get situated on the table. Much like having a Pap done. We talked and discovered that we both grew up in the same area... in fact our
sisters had been best friends throughout school. The doctor came back in and we got started. He talked to explain what he was doing and my husband offered me his hand. The feeling was strange to say the very least. An odd feeling.
They had difficulty grasping the stent and while looking, the doctor explained that my bladder was really filled with stones and pieces. After a few minutes they had hold of the stent and the pulling began. I have a habit of holding my breath when I'm in pain and I did so at this point. My husband reminded me to breathe. It burned and was very uncomfortable for a few minutes, but over quite quickly. Sure enough, the kidney stent was encrusted with pieces of stones.
They asked me how I felt and then I was told I could get dressed and meet them out front by the desk. The doctor explained that he wanted a K. U. B. x-ray in one month to see what was going on with the remaining stones and that he wants to see me again in three months as long as everything was good next month.
We started joking saying that it's too bad that kidney stones aren't made of gold, because if they were, we'd be rich!
I can't say it was FUN having a stent or having it removed, but I've certainly been through a lot worse! "Thank you, Dr. McLeod!" I loved your explanation about how they get out the stones in the lower poles of the kidneys and for offering the helmet!
Using the bathroom for the first time was a bit painful and bloody with stones littering the bottom of the dish! The second time wasn't much better and I was surprised to pass stones the size of peas. The pain meds the doctor recommended certainly help. I was warned ahead of time that I could pass stones and pieces for several days.
I was also told that I might want to stay home from my job for a few days because it can be a bit painful. "Thank you, Dr. Graham, for that advice!"
As for staying active...sometimes we need to listen better to what our bodies are telling us!
The kidney stent pulls when first inserted but after a few days, it's not nearly as bad. It will still let you know it's there though.