Infant feeding tube as urinary tract stent

  • O N Ekeke Urology Unit, Department of Surgery, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • N Eke


Background: The infant feeding tube is a cheap and readily available device with many uses in the urinary tract. Many types of stents are available in the market but among other factors, cost and affordability limit their use in developing countries and remote areas. Aim: To document experience with infant feeding tubes as stents in the urinary tract. Methods: Data from the hospital records of patients who required stents at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria were obtained from their case notes from May 2003 to May 2006. Information extracted from these case notes included: age and sex of patient, indications for stenting, stent-related complications and outcome of surgery. The data were analysed using Microsoft Excel Software. Results: Thirty-three patients who required stents within the period were included in the study. In nineteen patients (57.6%) feeding tubes were used as urethral stents while in 14 (42.4%) as ureteric stents. Operations requiring stents include: dismembered pyeloplasty 9.1% (3), ureteric re-implantation 24.3% (8), ureterolithotomy 9.1% (3), and urethroplasty 57.6% (19). The stents were left in situ for 2-3 weeks depending on the indication. Ureteric stents were left for 3 weeks while urethral stents were usually left for 2 weeks. However, where a significant complication was noted, the stent was removed. Complications noted in 4 patients (12.1%) which were probably stent-related include: bladder spasm, infection and wound dehiscence. Conclusion: Infant feeding tubes can be used as suitable urinary tract stents where expensive stents are not available.

Keywords: Feeding tubes, Stents, Urologic surgery.

Port Harcourt Medical Journal Vol. 1 (2) 2007: pp. 96-98

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eISSN: 0795-3038