Stent positioning after ureteroscopy for urinary calculi: the question is still open

Eur Urol. 2004 Sep;46(3):381-7; discussion 387-8. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2004.04.004.


Objectives: We conducted a study to assess the need for routine ureteral stenting after ureteroscopic stone removal using Lithoclast pneumatic intracorporeal lithotripsy.

Materials and methods: A total of 104 patients, prospectively divided in two groups to receive (group A, 52 patients) or not (group B, 52 patients) a stent after stone removal, underwent ureteroscopy for the treatment of ureteral lithiasis. The procedure was performed with the patient under either general or epidural anesthesia. A semirigid ureteroscope (Wolf 8.9 Fr) was used in all cases and intracorporeal lithotripsy with ballistic energy was performed. In group A a double pigtail ureteral 4.8 or 6 Fr polyurethane stent was placed following ureteroscopy. All patients were closely evaluated on follow-up examinations. The outcomes measured were postoperative patient pain, lower urinary tract symptoms, the need for hospital care as a result of the postoperative pain and late postoperative complications.

Results: The two patient groups were comparable with respect to the baseline variables of patient gender and age, stone location and mean stone size. Mean operative time plus or minus standard deviation (S.D.) in group A was 42 +/- 15 minutes (range 20-65) compared to 37 +/- 20 (range 15-60) in group B. Operative time was not significantly longer when a stent was placed (p = 0.17). At day 3 the mean visual analog pain score in group B was much higher than in group A (p = 0.01). Dysuria, hematuria and frequency/urgency were more prevalent in the stented group, although without statistically significant difference. Readmission to the hospital for unremitting pain was necessary in 12 of 104 patients (11.5%) all being in unstented group (p < 0.05). The incidence of anatomical ureteral narrowing on IVP at 6 months follow-up was not statistically different between the two groups.

Conclusions: In our experience, using Swiss Lithoclast ballistic energy to fragment stones, routine stent placement is advisable also after uncomplicated ureteroscopic lithotripsy without ureteral dilation. Further prospective randomized studies are needed to assess the role of stenting after ureteroscopic lithotripsy, considering different energies sources, scopes, diameter and site of the stones in the ureter.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lithotripsy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prosthesis Implantation / methods*
  • Stents*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ureteral Calculi / surgery*
  • Ureteroscopy / methods