The following is a summary of “Patients’ Experiences With the Removal of a Ureteral Stent: Insights From In-depth Interviews With Participants in the USDRN STENTS Qualitative Cohort Study,” published in the AUGUST 2023 issue of Urology by Dombeck, et al.
For a study, researchers sought to provide insight into the experiences of patients undergoing stent removal in the USDRN Study to Enhance Understanding of Stent-Associated Symptoms (STENTS), which is a prospective, observational cohort study focusing on patients who have undergone short-term ureteral stent placement following ureteroscopy.
A qualitative descriptive approach was employed, involving in-depth interviews with participants. The interviews were structured to elicit responses regarding three main aspects: any painful or bothersome elements associated with stent removal, immediate symptoms experienced after removal, and symptoms encountered after removal. These interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using applied thematic analysis.
The study included 38 participants, ranging in age from 13 to 77 years, with 55% female and 95% identifying as White. Interviews were conducted within 7 to 30 days after stent removal. Almost all participants (31 out of 38) reported experiencing either pain or discomfort during stent removal, although for the majority (25 out of 38), the pain was of short duration. Many participants (21 out of 38) mentioned feeling anticipatory anxiety related to the procedure, and some (11 out of 38) discussed discomfort arising from a lack of privacy or exposure. Interactions with medical providers often helped alleviate participants’ anxiety but also increased discomfort for some. Several participants described lingering pain and/or urinary symptoms following stent removal, but these largely resolved within 24 hours. A few participants reported symptoms persisting for over a day after stent removal.
The study’s findings shed light on patients’ experiences during and immediately after ureteral stent removal, highlighting the psychological distress they may encounter. It underscored opportunities for enhancing patient care, such as the importance of clear communication from healthcare providers regarding what to expect during the removal procedure and the potential for delayed pain, which can help patients better manage discomfort.