Urology - Kidney Stone Centre

Treatment options

Shockwave Lithotripsy: Stent or No Stent

A stent is a thin tube that can be placed with one end curled in the kidney and the other end curled in the bladder. It ensures that the kidney does not become blocked by a kidney stone. It can be inserted using a small telescope (called a cystoscope) under either local or general anesthesia.
Occasionally your urologist will insert a stent before SWL. This might be done if:

  • You are having a great deal of pain from your kidney stone while you wait for SWL.
  • You have a severe urine infection and blockage with your stone.
  • Your stone is quite large (larger than 1.5cm wide or long).
  • You have only one kidney.

A stent is not necessary for all patients who have SWL. In fact it is not needed for most patients.

Stents can cause blood in the urine, frequent urination, and discomfort, although these symptoms generally improve after a few days. A stent should not be left in place for more than three to six months.