Being fitted with a kidney stent, especially in the beginning, can make it challenging to get comfortable when it comes to bedtime. However, after reading this guide, you’ll be armed with plenty of handy tips that are bound to ensure you a more restful night.
Not only will these tips help you to sleep with a kidney stent, but they will also help to improve your sleep schedule, in return, improving your general health and mental well-being.
So, if you’ve recently been fitted with a kidney stent and looking for ways to ensure an undisturbed night’s rest, continue reading.
What is A Kidney Stent?
A kidney stent, or ureteric stent as it’s medically referred to, is a device placed between the bladder and ureter to relieve the obstruction.
This kind of kidney surgery is often used in patients suffering from conditions such as kidney stones or other blockages in the ureter.
The operation is done under anesthetic and is a straightforward procedure where a cystoscope is inserted into the bladder via the ureter. Wires are then put in place to guide the stent into position.
You may have your kidney stent in place for various lengths of time, and this depends on the reason for the procedure. However, in general cases, they’re usually removed after three to four weeks.
Types of Kidney Stent
Depending on the reason for your procedure, there are two different kinds of kidney stent you might be fitted with.
Firstly there is the standard kidney stent, which is fitted with the inability to be removed unless done by a professional during a separate procedure.
The second kind is a stent with a string. These types of stents mean you can remove them yourself when they’ve been in place for a specified amount of time.
Studies show that patients fitted with the string stent experience more nighttime disturbance than those with a standard stent.
Side Effects of Having a Kidney Stent
Most people won’t feel any difference after having a kidney stent fitted, whereas others may experience a tingling sensation while using the bathroom for a couple of days after the procedure.
However, in some cases, or if complications have occurred, patients may experience the following:
- Burning sensation when peeing
- Being able to feel the stent in its position
- Bladder irritation
- Excessive urination
- Kidney pain
- Blocked or dislodged stents
- Infections, including urinary tracts infections
If you experience any of the above symptoms, speak to your healthcare provider so they can clear up any concerns you might have.
How to Sleep With a Kidney Stent?
Getting a restful night is essential; however, sleep is critical for rehabilitation and restoration when recovering from surgery or any medical procedure.
The following helpful tips will assist you in your recovery by ensuring you know exactly how to sleep with a kidney stent.
However, speaking with your doctor before trying over-the-counter medications is essential, especially if you’ve already been prescribed pain relief.
1. Pain Relief
The first thing to consider after a medical procedure is controlling the initial pain. You may be prescribed pain relief after your operation, or you may be advised to purchase over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen to relieve inflammation.
It’s important not to mix these medications and read the label thoroughly before taking them. Also, remember to remain hydrated.
If pain is excessive, and you don’t feel like the over-the-counter meds are relieving the symptoms, speak to your doctor, who might be able to prescribe a stronger, more suitable dose.
2. Alpha Blockers
Alpha-blockers are often used to lower blood pressure and treat prostate conditions because of their ability to block alpha receptors in the body. In doing this, they help the muscles relax and relieve tension which can cause discomfort.
Alpha-blockers can also help you to relax in general, relieving anxiety and feelings of stress.
Speak to your doctor about alpha-blockers if you’re struggling to sleep after being fitted with a kidney stent.
3. Avoid Strenuous Exercise
While some light exercises might be recommended to aid recovery after kidney stent surgery, you must be careful regarding the extent of your activities. The time of day you exercise can also affect how well you sleep.
When you exercise, endorphins are released, which can mean the brain is more alert, resulting in you finding it more difficult to drift off at night.
Choose a time of the day to perform exercises that won’t affect your sleep, such as three to four hours before you go to bed or early in the morning.
Strenuous exercise or heavy lifting can also hinder your recovery, and cause injury, so be sure to speak with your surgeon or physician about what exercises should be avoided while recovering from kidney stent surgery.
4. Sleep Schedule
We always come back to the importance of a consistent sleep schedule, and this is the case whether you’re recovering from surgery or not.
Having a sleep schedule that is the same every night better prepares your brain and body for bed. Because many people suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia after surgery, putting a routine in place can help conquer these nightly challenges.
Lowering your activity levels in the hours before bed, reading a book, listening to relaxing music, or surrounding yourself with calming scents in the bedroom can help relax the receptors in the brain, making it easier to drift off come bedtime.
5. Cool Pads
While some people might recommend heated blankets for discomfort, the truth is that heat can actually worsen inflammation. Therefore, cool pads are the way to go after having a kidney stent fitted.
Not only can they help the symptoms of inflammation, but they can also help to regulate your body temperature for a more restful night’s sleep by promoting relaxation.
6. Sleep Position
If you’ve just had your kidney stent fitted, the recommended sleep position is flat on your back with your knees slightly elevated, which you can ensure by propping a rolled-up blanket or pillow under the back of the knees.
Sleeping in this position relieves pressure on the affected area surrounding the stent.
The most important thing when sleeping with a kidney stent is comfort, and what works for one person might not work for another, so finding a position that works for you is detrimental. You could try propping a pillow under your head.
7. Limit Fluid Intake Before Bed
Because of the nature of this procedure, drinking plenty of fluids is a vital part of recovery. Drinking water will flush urine and blood through the kidneys, preventing infection and aiding rehabilitation.
However, drinking too much liquid in the hours leading up to bed can cause you to wake up multiple times during the night needing to use the bathroom.
To avoid being disturbed during the night, drink plenty of water throughout the day, but limit your intake after around 6:00 pm in the evening or two to four hours before you go to bed.
It’s no secret that trying to sleep with a kidney stent can be an uncomfortable practice and may take some getting used to. However, sleep is key when it comes to your recovery, so finding the best methods to get a good night’s sleep is vital.
Changing your sleeping position, limiting exercise, and taking pain relief can all contribute to you experiencing a restful night.
If you’re experiencing symptoms worse than what you were expecting or you find you’re in a lot of discomforts, speak with your doctor immediately to rule out any infections or other complications.