Chapter 14: Table of Contents
Urethral stenting has recently been introduced as a minimally invasive palliative option for dogs with malignant urethral obstruction. Self-expanding, laser cut, NITINOL veterinary stents are available in a variety of sizes for insertion via urethral approach. With appropriate training, urethral stents can safely be delivered under fluoroscopic guidance and with few complications. Urethral stenting provides palliation of urethral obstruction but does not address the neoplastic disease. Along with chemotherapy, this procedure can extend the life expectancy of patients with obstructive neoplasia of the urinary tract. In a recent retrospective study (Weisse et al. 2006), complications associated with urethral stenting were rare but included: recurrent urethral obstruction due to blood clot formation, urethral swelling, stent dislodgement or progression of the tumour. Other potential complications include: incontinence, continued straining to urinate despite having a good urine stream and urinary tract infection, both of which are likely related to the primary disease rather than the stenting procedure. Most patients that receive a stent to palliate severe urethral obstruction can urinate immediately after stent placement and ultimately succumb to metastatic complications rather than recurrence of local urethral disease.