Treating a blockage

Sometimes, bladder tumours can block the drainage of urine from the kidneys into the bladder through the ureters. If this happens you may have pain or discomfort in your back or side, or you may feel sick. Tell your doctor or specialist nurse if you notice any of these symptoms.

If a ureter is blocked, your doctor may suggest an operation to put a stent into one or both of your ureters. Stents allow urine to drain from the kidney.

This operation is done under general anaesthetic using a cystoscope. The doctor passes the cystoscope through your urethra and into your bladder. Using a thin wire, they position the stent into the ureter.

If it is not possible to put in the stent using a cystoscopy, you may have a tube put directly into your kidney. This is called a nephrostomy. A nephrostomy drains urine directly from your kidneys into a bag.

Under a local anaesthetic in the x-ray department, the doctor uses an x-ray or scan to help them position the tube in your kidney. Once the nephrostomy is in position, it can be used to put in the stent.

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A nephrostomy is a tube that drains urine from the kidney if there is a blockage in your urinary system.