Ureteral stents industry is witnessing a large scale adoption worldwide predominantly due to the emerging geriatric population and prevailing incidence of urological indications. One of the major indications observed behind the adoption of these stents is kidney stone. The surging demand is running parallel to technological advancements in stent composition. Normally, urine is carried from kidneys to the bladder through narrow tubes called ureters. Conditions like kidney stones, tumors, or blood clots among others can obstruct the ureter. To treat the obstruction, physicians place stents or tubes in the ureter to restore the urine flow to the bladder.
A ureteral stent is placed while treating patients with complex urological disorders like prostate cancer, which usually narrows the ureter or scars the wall of the ureter. Several ureteral stents are used to open the blocked ureters and allow urine flow. These stents represent a relatively less invasive alternative to preserve urinary drainage. Three technological parameters play a vital role in the performance of an efficient stent: material, surface coating, and design.
Colonization of microorganisms causing incontinence complications, the sedentary standard of living, and increasing number of kidney transplants are lashing the espousal of the ureteral stents technology. During the last few decades, ureteral stents have observed widespread utilization as a measure for permanent or temporary drainage for the upper urinary tract.
In recent years, scientists and researchers have employed their time in identifying finest constitutive material for ureteral stents which focus majorly on strength, flexibility, surface roughness, and cost efficacy. There are two prominent classifications of materials used in fabricating ureteral stents, namely, metallic and polymer ureteral stents.
Metallic Material for Ureteral Stents
Metallic stents were introduced to the market with a purpose of reducing morbidity associated with stents and increasing their ability to oppose deformation which can be caused by an inherent ureteric impediment. Although metallic stents are available in the market with more expense, they are changed less frequently. As a result, the demand for these stents is heaving across the sphere. Metallic stents are performing significantly better on the aspects of stent-related pain. The patients too prefer metallic stents for future stent insertion. Metallic ureteral stents possess utility for patients with pathological processes causing ureteral compression refractory. Metallic stents offer an alternative to conventional modalities. The current application of these stents for the treatment of both malignant and benign urinal obstruction reveals encouraging results which will provide a new tool for long-term urinary drainage.
Apart from Kidney Stone conditions, ureteral stents are applied in various other alarming indications like urinary incontinence, tumor, and kidney transplantation.
In recent years, kidney transplantation surgery has risen considerably. The probabilities for urologic complications after surgery is unavoidable. A kidney transplant is performed for end-stage kidney disease. Urinary complications are usually associated with contemporary renal transplantation. The ureteral stent holds the ureter open and maintains proper drainage of urine till the surgical connection between the transplanted ureter and the bladder gets healed. A ureteral stent is placed for six to eight weeks. Urological complications after kidney transplantation lead to patient morbidity and compromise graft function. Ureteral stents have been effectively used for treating such impediments. The most concerning surgical complications of renal transplantation involve stenosis and obstruction. The regular use of ureteral stents can help in preventing this complication. The placement of these stents decreases surgical complications without involving excessive costs.
The use of ureteral stents in surgery for diverticulitis has significantly increased over the last decade. Several new ideas on stents technology, coating, and composition material are being evaluated at present. New innovations are expected to eliminate the current tradeoffs associated with ureteral stent usage. The perpetual research for the creation of an ideal stent encompasses development in various features like design, material involved, and coating. Significant developments in stent coating will contribute largely in stent evolution and offer promising future prospects. Modifications of existing stent designs have initiated in innovations to newer types of ureteral stents.
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