OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to review our experience with fluoroscopically guided retrograde exchange of ureteral stents in women. MATERIALS AND METHODS. During a 48-month period, 28 women (age range, 38-76 years) were referred to our department for retrograde exchange of a ureteral stent. The causes of urinary obstruction were tumor compression in 26 patients and benign fibrotic stricture in two patients. A large-diameter snare catheter (25-mm single loop or 18- to 35-mm triple loop) or a foreign body retrieval forceps (opening width, 11.3 mm) was used to grasp the bladder end of the stent under fluoroscopic guidance. The technique entailed replacement of a patent or occluded ureteral stent with a 0.035- or 0.018-inch guidewire with or without the aid of advancement of an angiographic sheath. RESULTS. A total of 54 ureteral stents were exchanged with a snare catheter in 42 cases or a forceps in 12 cases. One stent misplaced too far up the ureter was replaced successfully through antegrade percutaneous nephrostomy. Ten occluded stents, including one single-J stent, were managed with a 0.018-inch guidewire in three cases, advancement of an angiographic sheath over the occluded stent into the ureter in five cases, and recannulation of the ureteral orifice with a guidewire in two cases. No complications of massive hemorrhage, ureter perforation, or infection were encountered. CONCLUSION. With proper selection of a snare or forceps catheter, retrograde exchange of ureteral stents in women can be easily performed under fluoroscopic guidance with high technical success and a low complication rate.
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