358) Stent Removal

April 20, 2009

Morning: Liz and I are up bright and early to go in for my stent removal. Up until now the medical team has mentioned "stent removal" and some brief explanations about it, but nothing to write home about. Then it is scheduled a couple weeks ago (at Clinic #3) and Kelly the Nurse calls (on 4/14) to discuss the "procedure" with me on the phone. I somehow know that the stent is in there somewhere between the Mordechia and the Penis keeping the whole works flowing like clockwork... or... like ...the Erie Canal maybe is a better analogy. So Kelly calls and tells me things like; come in two hours before your procedure at 9 to sign in and get all set. They will be deciding then if it'll be general or local anesthesia; to bring my Insurance Cards and Picture ID (let's see, this'll be about the 33rd time for that to be copied...;) and, have nothing to drink or eat for 12 hours before coming in. She finally wants to know if Liz is bringing me, so they know about when I can leave.

Like The Organ Trail describes, there isn't much about Uretral Stent Removal on the web that isn't written for medical folks. I got most of my info from Bernadette and Kelly the Nurse who calls about my pre-procedural procedures... and yet I have found one description on Emory's Transplant Center's website, as follows:

"Ureteral Stent Removal
Most transplant recipients will have a ureteral stent placed as part of their kidney transplant surgery. If you have a stent, you will be informed of this by the transplant team. The urine which is made in your new kidney flows to your bladder through the ureter. The ureter came with the donor kidney and was connected to your bladder with a small incision. The stent is a thin hollow tube which is placed inside the ureter to keep it open and allow the connection to your bladder to heal.

The ureteral stent needs to stay in place for about six weeks after the transplant. By this time, healing will be complete and your stent can be removed. A urologist who works with the transplant team will remove the stent during a brief procedure called a cystoscopy. You will not be put to sleep, and no incision or surgery is needed. A flexible tube (the cystoscope) is inserted into your bladder, and the stent is removed through the cystoscopy tube. You may feel some brief discomfort or pressure. This procedure takes about 30 minutes."

NAMC Day Surgery: So, we arrive at NAMC and we shuffle into the Administrative Sign Up woman, who runs us through the system fairly quickly and then guides us over to the family day surgery waiting room, where we find our transplant buddies, Rodney & Kelly are here too for the same procedure... and they got here at 7. After not too long a wait they take R&K in then pretty soon they take us in. We get our own room and we meet Aaron the Nurse, who is gonna hook me up, take my information about what I'm allergic to (and explain why they do that stuff over and over again... tell stories about how some people have "issues" about being asked the same stuff over and over again...) Aaron is a nice young guy who wants to get a Mustang from the year he was born... 1972 (like Mom's Grande, me thinks) and I share that.
Then Courtney the OR nurse for the top half of me comes in and asks about my questions; explaining that it really takes longer to put me out and get me back than it does to do this "3 minute procedure". I don't really want the details, if you know what I mean. She jokes that today Dr. Lewis told the team, "We're putting all the men completely under (with general anesthesia) and using nothing (maybe just a local?) on the women" Courtney and Liz joke about, "What's this about?... while I lay there imagining the difference. She clarifies that this is NOT like the "hypnotics" I get for a colonoscopy. The Anesthesiologist comes in and I brief him by answering his questions and he seems all business and has some kinda bloodshot eyes and I wonder if my hallucination center is kicking in or if he was out too late... he scoots and Vlad enters and introduces himself as the OR Nurse and tells Lizzie they'll take good care of me. We are on our way.

Lizzie and I kiss goodbye, Courtney says she can visit with Kelly down the hall, and we set out careening thru the corridors to the operating room. I am being rolled by Vlad the Romanian OR Nurse who is charge of my lower half, according to Courtney, and Vlad can relate to Noviski and nods his head and talks in a thick Slavic accent... and he has bright laughing eyes so I'm thinking we are gonna have a great time in the OR.

We roll in and the two nurses busy themselves about and Courtney and I are chatting about my brief career with Gold Cross Ambulance as she is giving me something to relax and I say it was a lonnnng timeeee agooooooo....

....and then I open my eyes and notice a Nigerian Nurse computing something on my left and she looks over and says, "Hello... I am Ann and you are in recovery and all is well..." I reply, "Coffee?" and she laughs and goes off to get some and I call after her "and water too.." I lay back and smile to myself. I am still on the planet!

Actually, this part could be out of order... maybe they roll my back to my Lizzie reading her Philosophy book before I get the coffee.... either way I am happy, and I feel no pain and another milestone is passed.

A little later Ann has me get dressed, sit in a wheelchair and rolls me out into the world for Liz to pick me up in the Sienna and drive on home in the sun. We get T-Clouds and a movie for the afternoon (cause I can't be left alone, according to my Release Rules) and we are happy and I immediately fall asleep on the couch and spend the afternoon in and out of consciousness. What fun for Liz.


Michael said...


It was great reading your blog. I have had my kidney transplant on September 11, 2009. I also have PKD. I will go in on October 6 to have my stents removed and have been worried about it. You have put a light on the subject. I have my first clinic follow up with my surgeon on September 25 the day before my birthday. Again thanks Jack.

Anonymous said...

First of all ~ Congratulations to you! I'm so glad you got something of use from my blog. Now-a-days I am blogging less... seems the news is less important now that I am more than 6 months post transplant. It is, as I am sure you are aware, a complete change of life again (if you were in dialysis) and will take some getting used to for you. Make sure to establish a good working rapport with your doc. Don't let them get away with "business as usual". Talk to them, ask questions, ask their thoughts on stuff, and let them know you are an important person, as they are an important person to you. Feel free to share my blog and the posts (by number) of my post transplant experiences with those in your doctor's office... so they can understand that you ARE an important person and you count on them to guide you through these times. Good Luck. Namaste.

and... keep in touch.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jack for your story! I received my kidney transplant on Oct. 17, 2009 and I'm due to have my stent removed next week. I was a little scared but your story has helped my anxiety! Good luck to you and I pray you continue doing well!

Jack Nowicki said...

Anonymous II ~ thanks for your comment and I continue to be pleased that people get something useful from my blog.

I wish you good fortunes in your stent removal... AND to a healthy recovery and healing. Be sure to continue to bless your new kidney and care for it as best you can. Namaste.

dora said...

great information I was wondering what a stent is, I just recently had my transsplant oct. 6 2010 and your information was very helpfull.

Jack Nowicki said...

Dora ~ Thanks for the comment. It is nice to hear that my blog is still helpful to people. I haven't been as active posting as I used to: mostly I am just Living my Life with my "new" kidney.

I sincerely hope you have a healthy healing from your transplant, and that everything goes as well as mine did. JN

Jack Nowicki said...

ITS JANUARY 8, 2011 ~~~



Jack Nowicki said...

Wow Anony! I am so glad that I had it so easy. Reading your comment brought shivers to my timber... :)

Hope all stays well with you. Thanks for the comment. JN