What Is The Recovery Time For Kidney Stone Removal With Stent?

Reviewed by Dr. Maya Frankfurt, PhD

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recovery time for kidney stone removal with stent
Know the recovery time for kidney stone removal with a stent. Photo: Shutterstock

Kidney stone removal with the use of a stent is a minimally invasive medical procedure[1] used to help expel kidney stones which can obstruct urine flow. The stent allows the stone, or stone fragments, to pass through the urinary tract.

The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis, not requiring admittance to a hospital, and patients can be sent home the same day. From there, the stent remains in the body for a few days or weeks. Healing time can vary  between a few days and a few weeks. As each case is different, healing times will vary. The amount, size, and complexity of the kidney stone(s) can influence healing time. Aside from a stent procedure, there are other ways to get rid of kidney stones, but always consult with your doctor to determine the best course of treatment for you.

What Is The Recovery Time For Kidney Stone Removal With A Stent?

The recovery time for kidney stone removal with stent can vary from person to person, and may depend on several factors, such as the number of stones and the size of the stone(s). Some people can feel fully recovered within a few days[2] after the procedure, and in some cases, sooner. Others may need a few weeks to feel fully recovered.

During recovery time, patients should avoid strenuous activity, stay hydrated, and keep their diet healthy.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Kidney Stone Removal With Stent?

recovery time for kidney stone removal with stent
Recovery time from a stent procedure can vary. Photo: Shutterstock

Generally speaking, the recovery time for kidney stone removal with stent is a few days (in some cases less, in other cases more). But it’s helpful to know how the procedure works, to understand why some people take longer than others to recover.

The procedure involves placing a small tube (a ureteral stent) in the urinary tract, which helps facilitate urine passage. The stent also aids in the healing process, post-procedure.

The complexity, size, and location of the kidney stone helps a doctor decide what other or additional methods are suitable for treatment. For example, very large stones may require kidney stone surgery. 

Some of these methods include:

Extracorporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy – shock wave lithotripsy creates shock waves that break kidney stones into small fragments, which can pass through the urinary tract more easily.

Ureteroscopy – this procedure uses a small tube[3] which is inserted into the urethra and bladder to access the kidney stone. The stone is then either removed or broken into smaller pieces using a laser.

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy – this procedure is reserved for more complex cases, including large stones, and involves making a small incision in the patient’s back to remove the stone. It also comes with more risk of complications.[4]

Once a stone is removed, a stent is inserted to keep urine flow active and allows for any remaining fragments to pass.

The stent procedure is usually well-tolerated and performed on an outpatient basis. Afterwards, patients may experience mild discomfort or urinary frequency, but this should not last more than a few days. However, depending on the complexity of the case and an individual’s medical history, it may take some people a few weeks to feel fully recovered.

Post-Kidney Stone Removal: Things To Keep In Mind 

recovery time for kidney stone removal with stent
Some people can experience mild pain after the procedure. Photo: Shutterstock

Although many people can go back to work the day after the procedure, it’s best to take it easy for a few days. Your doctor can give you more specifics about what to do and things to avoid, as well as how long they anticipate your healing will take. But here are some general guidelines to keep in mind, post-procedure:

Avoid Strenuous Activity

Refrain from intense exercise or strenuous activity for a few days (at least). This includes heavy lifting. The stent may also cause pain or tenderness at the site, so do not put any excess pressure near the stent placement area until the stent has been removed.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of clear fluids to facilitate urine production and flow. This will allow any leftover fragments to pass and help prevent recurrence of new stones. Bear in mind how much water you should drink a day (usually between 9-13 glasses).

Watch Your Diet And Supplement

Support your body’s natural ability to heal by feeding it healthy food and taking appropriate supplements. Focus on nutrient-dense foods,[5] such as fruit and vegetables, that can boost your body’s healing capabilities. Your doctor may prescribe dietary modifications (such as reducing sodium) to help minimize the chance of stone recurrence. 

You may also consider adding in apple cider vinegar for kidney stones, with your doctor’s approval, as it may help prevent new stones from forming, or you may also like apple cider vinegar gummies and want to read the Goli gummies review.

Schedule The Stent Removal

Stents are removed shortly after the procedure (anywhere from a few days to a few weeks), by your doctor (or in some cases, at home). Your specific case will determine how long your stent will need to remain in place before being removed.

Maintain Good Hygiene

Keep the area of the stent placement clean to avoid risk of infection. Your doctor can instruct you on how best to keep the affected area free of bacteria. If you notice any signs of infection,[6] such as swelling at the site or fever, tell your doctor right away.

Follow Up With Your Doctor

Keep your doctor informed of your healing process and let them know if you develop any worsening pain or other symptoms, such as chest pain or bladder spasms. Make a follow up appointment if needed.


Kidney stone removal with a stent is a relatively well-tolerated, minimally invasive, outpatient procedure, in which patients can recover in as little as a few days. This can vary depending on the person and the nature of the kidney stone(s). 

Larger or more complex stones may require more effort and time to leave the body, and a ureteral stent may need to stay inside a person for longer, which can lengthen the recovery time. 

The stent procedure is designed to open the pathways that allow urine to flow so that the stone, or stone fragments, can pass out of the body more easily. Procedures such as shock wave lithotripsy, which break up stones into smaller pieces, can help assist in this process.

Frequently Asked Questions

When and where does the ureteral stent get removed?

The removal of the ureteral stent can be done in a doctor’s office, or in some cases, at home using an attached string. This can sometimes be done a few days after the procedure. Your specific case may require that the stent come out sooner or stay in longer.

Does stent removal hurt?

The process is very quick, and although the procedure to remove the ureteral stent shouldn’t cause much pain, some people report feeling ureteral stent pain or minor discomfort after the stent is removed. But rarely would the intensity call for narcotic pain medication.

Will I be able to go back to work right away? 

Some people can go back to work the next day, especially if their job does not require heavy lifting or strenuous activity, however, this will need to be decided on a case-by-case basis.

How can I prepare for the procedure?

Once you’ve discussed all plans with your doctor and scheduled your appointment, you may be required to fast before the procedure so that your stomach is empty. Your doctor will make this recommendation, so be sure to follow their instructions.

Will I need to be put under anesthesia for the procedure?

Typically, yes. The stent is usually inserted in the patient while the patient is under anesthesia. You must make arrangements for someone to pick you up after the procedure since you will not be allowed to drive that same day.

Will I need to get a stent placed in each time I get a kidney stone?

Not necessarily. Each case is unique. The size and complexity of the stone will help your doctor determine the best course of treatment. If you develop more stones at a later time, your doctor can advise you on the best way to pass or remove them.

What should I tell my doctor before the procedure?

Give your doctor your complete medical history, and let them know all medications you’re taking, including blood thinners. If you don’t have time at your appointment to share all necessary information or ask all your questions, schedule a follow up appointment before the procedure. 

+ 6 sources

MIDSS adheres to strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes, and medical associations. We work mainly with peer-reviewed studies to ensure the accuracy of the information. We avoid the use of tertiary references. You can read about how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content in our editorial process.

  1. Hoffman (2021). Kidney Disease: Kidney Stones. FP essentials, [online] 509. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34643363/.
  2. Juliebø-Jones, P. (2023). Advances in Ureteroscopy: New technologies and current innovations in the era of Tailored Endourological Stone Treatment (TEST) – Patrick Juliebø-Jones, Etienne Xavier Keller, Julie Nøss Haugland, Mathias Sørstrand Æsøy, Christian Beisland, Bhaskar K Somani, Øyvind Ulvik, 2023. [online] Journal of Clinical Urology. Available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/20514158221115986.
  3. B. Geavlete, Cristian Mareș, R. Multescu, Georgescu, D. and P. Geavlete (2022). Hybrid flexible ureteroscopy strategy in the management of renal stones – a narrative review. Journal of medicine and life, [online] 15(8), pp.919–926. doi:https://doi.org/10.25122/jml-2022-0110.
  4. Knoll, T., Pedro, F., Desai, J., Andras Hoznek, Knudsen, B.E., Montanari, E., Cesare Marco Scoffone, Skolarikos, A. and Keiichi Tozawa (2017). Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: technique. World Journal of Urology, [online] 35(9), pp.1361–1368. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00345-017-2001-0.
  5. Davison, G., Kehaya, C. and Jones, A.W. (2014). Nutritional and Physical Activity Interventions to Improve Immunity. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, [online] 10(3), pp.152–169. doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827614557773.
  6. Clinic, C. (2023). Fever Symptoms & Causes: What Is Considered a Fever? – Cleveland Clinic. [online] Cleveland Clinic. Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/10880-fever.


Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Wellness Writer with a holistic and functional medicine/root cause mindset. My writing style is engaging, relatable, and educational, designed to help readers digest and relate to complex topics in nutrition, gut health, hormone health, mental health, and spiritual health, then inspire them to take action.


Dr. Maya Frankfurt received her Ph.D. in neuroscience and has been teaching and doing research for over 30 years. She has taught neuroscience and physiology to medical students and allied health students. Her research interests are primarily related to understanding how the brain responds to alterations in hormones, drugs, and aging. Of particular importance is the understanding of the mechanisms involved in short- and long-term memory. Although these studies are done in animals the goal is to understand the mechanisms underlying learning and memory in humans and to provide potential directions for therapy in patients with dementia. Related to this, is the attempt to understand potential sex differences and the effects of estrogen in learning and memory because women have a greater incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease than do men. The initial hormone studies led to an interest on the effects of Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in plastics that has been shown to disrupt endocrine function, on both memory and brain structure. This research has been published in over 80 papers in peer referred journals.

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