Are you having trouble going to sleep with a kidney stent? The kidney stent may be a little uncomfortable, but there are ways to improve your comfort and sleep quality.
There is no 'perfect' sleeping position for kidney stent patients. However, using alpha blocks, taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and avoiding exercises before bed help you sleep better.
Kidney stents are medically known as 'Ureteral stents.' They are used to allow for urine excretion from the kidney to the bladder. According to patient studies at Health Checkup, about eighty percent of patients experience stent-related symptoms.
Ureteral stents are uncomfortable and may affect your sleep quality. While there is no specific sleeping position to relieve stent-related discomfort, there are ways to improve your comfort.
What Is A Kidney Stent?
A kidney stent is a small hollow flexible tube that connects the bladder and the kidney. Some stents are visible, running up to outside the body, with a thread connecting from the kidney through the urethra.
The kidney stent has coils at both of its ends. The top coils into the kidney while the bottom coils into the bladder, holding it in place. In addition, the stents are flexible enough to withstand various motions the body makes.
What Is The Best Sleeping Position For A Kidney Stent Patient?
No position will reduce discomfort in your sleep due to a kidney stent. However, many patients admit to experiencing better comfort when lying on the opposite side of the stent.
How To Sleep With A Kidney Stent
Sleep is a crucial part of healing after a kidney stent placement. However, the process might demand a lot from you. For instance, kidney stents with a string require you to quit any sexual activities when you have them.
After conducting research, below are ways to improve your sleep comfort if you have a stent;
Alpha-blockers reduce kidney stent pain by facilitating stone passage. In addition, these medications help keep the ureter open and reduce spasms in the ureter. Alpha-blockers like Tamsulosin and Alfuzosin help ease the pain, hence leading to better sleep.
Note that using Alpha-blockers have side effects on some people. Dizziness when standing up, stuffy nose, and retrograde ejaculation in men are some of these side effects. We, therefore, recommend consulting your doctor before taking any Alpha-blockers.
Take Anticholinergic Medications
Anticholinergic medications are an excellent choice instead of Alpha-blockers. They are a remedy to symptoms such as urinary frequency or urgency. However, these medications may cause dry mouth and constipation. Solifenacin is an example of an Anticholinergic medication.
Take An Over-The-Counter Pain Reliever
Over-the-counter pain relievers like Ibuprofen and acetaminophen help reduce the discomfort due to the stent. Taking a dose before bed will improve your sleep comfort. However, please consult your doctor before taking aspirin since it is a natural blood thinner that increases bleeding risks.
Avoid Exercise Before Bed
Good sleep is essential if you have a kidney stent. Exercising before bed makes the body release endorphins, which will not allow you to go to sleep. Instead, try working out earlier during the day to allow your body to drift into sleep peacefully.
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Monitor Your Fluid Intake
Drinking a lot of water after your stent placement helps flush blood and urine, relieving the kidneys. Physicians recommend hydrating regularly to maintain the pale yellow urine color.
However, drinking too much water before bed could increase the frequency and urgency of urinary discharge. The solution is to take more water during the daytime and reduce its intake as bedtime approaches.
How Does The Insertion Of The Kidney Stent Happen?
The process of inserting a kidney stent takes up to half an hour. First, the doctor administers anesthesia, and a scope with a camera is pushed into the urethra and bladder. Using X-rays to see, inserting the stent into the kidney via the ureter happens.
A wire in the cyst scope passes up to the kidney. Over the wire, a doctor threads a stent and then takes out the guiding wire. The ends of the wire have coils that hold the stent in place.
Most people take out their kidney stents in less than ten days, while others take longer. Also, kidney stents do not hurt some people, while others will experience discomfort on their side, especially after urination.
How Do Doctors Remove A Kidney Stent?
The removal of a kidney stent happens three to ten days after insertion and up to three months in some cases. The stent removal is a short procedure, about fifteen minutes long, involving the use of cystoscopy under local anesthesia.
In cases where the stent connects to a thread that was visible outside, the procedure is even shorter. The doctors can remove such stents by pulling the thread. You can also remove the stent yourself with instructions on when and how to remove it from your doctor.
Can A Stent Move Out Of Position?
Yes, the kidney stent can sometimes move from its original placement. It may result from the tube coiling in the bladder or kidney. However, the stent may move and puncture the walls of the bladder or the ureter, causing damage that requires surgery.
When Do Doctors Use A Kidney Stent?
Kidney stents drain urine from the kidney to the bladder if there is a blockage in the ureters. Doctors use kidney stents when it is not clear why there was an obstruction, and immediate treatment is necessary.
Another instance would be if there were an operation on the ureters. Since it takes time for the ureters to heal, doctors insert stents to prevent obstruction. It also allows the ureters to heal well.
Also, a kidney stent is necessary to relieve obstructions such as kidney stones for some time. The reason for this is to treat an underlying condition. Later, after the operation is over, the doctor removes the stent.
What Are The Side Effects Of A Kidney Stent?
While a Kidney stent improves excretion, it also negatively affects the body. Most of these effects are short-term and have medications that could help control them. Aside from a possibility of a urinary tract infection, here are some side effects of a kidney stent;
Blood in urine
Many people report blood in their urine after getting a kidney stent. The urine is red-wine or sometimes has a pink tinge in some patients. Other patients may notice thick clots in their urine.
This condition is a normal reaction to a ureteral stent and will stop after some time. However, the red color should disappear after some time with enough fluid intake; otherwise, visit your doctor.
Dysuria is a burning sensation that you experience during urination. However, its symptoms vary from mild to extreme depending on your eating habits and lifestyle. Taking enough fluids will help relieve this condition.
People with ureteral stents have a higher urination frequency and urgency. In extreme cases, urination frequency is very high in an hour. On the other hand, other patients may experience urinary retention, where they are not able to urinate with ease.
Pain And Spasms
The bladder and ureter area may develop spasms in patients with kidney stents. In addition, you may experience abdominal pain due to kidney stents. Painkiller medication works well as a remedy for this.
Despite being painful, kidney stents help keep your kidney healthy. They may cause discomfort, which you can relieve by taking over-the-counter medications. However, if the pain becomes unbearable, notify the doctor as the stent may be in the wrong location.
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Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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