Purpose of review
Ureteral stents are a mainstay of today's urological armamentarium. This review critically evaluates the recent literature and provides a concise summary of the use of stents in urology today. While stents are used in many reconstructive urologic procedures, this review focuses on the use of stents in urolithiasis as it pertains to ureteroscopy, shockwave lithotripsy, and ureteropelvic junction obstruction.
Ureteral stents are associated with irritative symptoms, hematuria, infection, and encrustation. A new validated quality of life and impact questionnaire has been developed and has shown that 76% of patients suffer at least some type of morbidity related to the stent. Many studies in the recent literature have re-examined our use of stents today. For example, concepts regarding stenting following ureteroscopy, before shockwave lithotripsy, and following endopyelotomy have undergone an evolution based on the results of randomized, prospective studies.
The ureteral stent is an invaluable urological tool and its indications are evolving as are new stent technologies to improve patient care and comfort.