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Urinary Stent with Unique Suture Design Could Reduce Hospital Readmissions and Replacement Costs

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 03 May 2022
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Image: New Relief Stent has the potential to ease pain for millions of patients and reduce hospital costs (Photo courtesy of Walden Medical Companies)
Image: New Relief Stent has the potential to ease pain for millions of patients and reduce hospital costs (Photo courtesy of Walden Medical Companies)

Ureteral stents ease urine flow from the kidney to the bladder to prevent kidney damage caused by kidney stones, strictures or swelling of the ureter (which connects the kidney to the bladder). Existing ureteral stents currently on the market have complication rates as high as 60%, causing significant patient pain and discomfort, including urine reflux, flank pain and bladder spasms, and leading to additional medical attention and replacement procedures. Urine reflux is well documented as a leading cause of pain and discomfort and can lead to kidney damage and kidney infections, which may require hospitalization. Now, a new urinary stent with a unique suture design allows the ureteral orifice to close naturally and reduce reflex of urine back into the kidney, thus offering the potential to reduce significantly these side effects and provides more effective management of patients suffering from kidney stones and other similar disorders.

The Relief Stent invented at University Hospitals (UH) in Cleveland (Cleveland, OH, USA) for patients suffering from kidney stones and other issues causing difficulty with drainage of the kidney has the potential to ease pain for millions of patients and reduce hospital costs. More than three million ureteral stent placements occur annually worldwide. The patented stent technology enables urine to flow past kidney stones, preventing urine retention, blood in urine, pain & irritation, and kidney damage. RELIEF increases patient comfort and improves hospital economic value by reducing readmission and replacement costs.

The new urinary stent conceived and invented by Lee Ponsky, MD, Chair of the Department of Urology and the Leo & Charlotte Goldberg Chair in Advanced Surgical Therapies at UH in Cleveland has secured FDA 510k clearance. Dr. Ponsky was able to take his idea, which was conceived in the operating rooms of UH, to a commercial-ready implantable device with the help of UH Ventures, the UH system’s commercialization arm. The Relief Stent has demonstrated early success in preclinical study cases being performed at UH.

“I developed the Relief Stent from not only my work as a physician, but also from the experience I had myself as a ureteral stent patient,” said Dr. Ponsky, who is a urological surgeon, “Using current stents is often painful for patients. The Relief Stent addresses the most significant side effects, reflux and bladder spasms, in a way that is quite intuitive, allowing the opening from the ureter into the bladder to remain closed during voiding and avoiding painful reflux up into the kidney.”

“This is a significant milestone for the Relief Stent which has potential to improve patient comfort and quality of life, while it also aims to improve hospital economics by reducing readmissions and replacement costs that will be part of post-market studies with this FDA clearance,” said Kyle Scarberry, MD, a urologist at UH who is the principal investigator of the Relief stent study.

Related Links:
University Hospitals (UH) in Cleveland 

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