Prostatic Stents

What is a stent?

A stent is a device for holding a tube open. For the prostate, a small metal coil is placed in the narrow part of the prostate.

Prostate Stent

Why have a stent rather than an operation?

Placing a stent can be simple and performed with little risk as an outpatient. It may be preferable for men who are not fit for an operation such as a TURP, but who would otherwise have a life-long catheter.

How is the stent put in?

The stent is put inside the prostate on the end of an instrument called a flexible cystoscope. This is a flexible instrument that can look inside the body. You stay awake during the procedure and local anaesthetic jelly is placed in the urethra to make the procedure more comfortable. The flexible cystoscope is passed through the urethra into the prostate allowing the stent to be positioned appropriately. The whole procedure takes about 20 to 40 minutes and can be watched on a monitor.

How do I prepare for stent insertion?

No special preparation is necessary. On the day of the procedure you may eat and drink as usual. While you are waiting you will be given a pain relieving suppository and an antibiotic tablet.

What happens afterwards?

You will be given a card to carry that you can show to anyone who needs to know what you have had done. You will be asked to stay in the department until both you and the nurses are happy that you are passing your urine well.

Most men are amazed at the improvement in the flow of the water even immediately after the procedure, and they can leave the hospital.

For the first couple of days, there may well be some discomfort and even some burning as you pass water; however, these symptoms should gradually wear off.

Rarely, some patients suffer an acute stoppage or retention shortly after the stent has been put in. If this happens come back to the hospital and tell the emergency doctor that you have had a stent put in. It is important that you do not have a catheter passed up the urethra as this may dislodge the stent completely. Instead, a tube should be passed through the lower abdomen under local anaesthetic to drain the bladder (this is called a suprapubic catheter). 

Might any additional treatment be required in the future?

Rarely, the stent can move out the appropriate position in the prostate. If that happens, the stent may need to be removed and replaced.