The purpose of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the safety and efficacy of removing retrievable self-expandable urethral stents using a retrieval hook wire. Under fluoroscopic guidance, the removal of 58 polyurethane or PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene)-covered stents was attempted in 33 patients using a retrieval hook wire. Indications for removal were elective removal (n=21), stent migration (n=19), formation of tissue hyperplasia around or inside of the stent (n=14), stent deformity (n=3), and severe pain (n=1). The mean time the stents remained in place was 64.8±42.9 days (range, 1–177 days). Fifty-six (97%) of the 58 stents were successfully removed using the retrieval hook wire despite the following difficulties; hook wire disconnection (n=2), untied drawstrings (n=3), and polyurethane membrane disruption/separation (n=4). The removal procedure using a retrieval hook wire failed in two stents (3%) which had migrated into the urinary bladder. One of the two stents with migration into the urinary bladder was removed using a snare through the cystostomy route. The overall complication rate was 14% (seven hematuria cases and one urethral tear case), and all were minor and spontaneously resolved without further treatment. In conclusion, removal of retrievable urethral stents using a retrieval hook wire was safe and effective despite some technical difficulties. It is a useful method for allowing temporary stent placement and solving various complications of stent use.
Urethra Interventional procedure Stents and prostheses Stent removal
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