Stents of the ureter, also called JJ catheter or ureteric stent, are intended to drain urine from kidney to bladder through the ureter when this drain is compromised for one reason or another. A ureteric stent is a long, thin, hollow and flexible plastic tube designed to be inserted into the human ureter so that one end is in the renal pelvis and the other end is in the bladder. In particular, ureteric stents are very widely used in endourological surgery for kidney stones, where they are extensively applied both before but especially after surgery, to keep the drain open in connection with the discharge of gravel, blood and tissue debris. Ureteric stents are also used to keep the ureter open when a kidney stone is trapped in the ureter itself or in the renal pelvis - an often very painful condition that also presents a high risk of renal loss and severe urinary tract infection. In these cases, the primary treatment is often the application of a ureteric stent for a number of weeks before the final removal of the kidney stone can take place. Furthermore, ureteric stents are used in conditions and diseases where an external pressure is exerted on the ureter which compromises the flow of urine from the kidney. These are typically cancers of the genital organs, the urinary tract or the intestines. It varies how long it is necessary to have a ureteric stent inserted. In uncomplicated kidney stone surgery, often only a few days to weeks, but in many other cases - e.g. for more complicated kidney stone surgery, or where re-surgery is needed after weeks to months, it may be necessary to have the stent sitting for many weeks or months. In patients with chronic illness - e.g. disseminated cancer disease - the ureteric stent can be a permanent solution. In this case, the stent should be changed every 3 to 6 month under full anesthesia as gravel deposits and infections occur on stents after a period of time necessitating regular replacement.
Thus, ureteric stents are very effective and quite indispensable in ensuring renal function and avoiding painful conditions in a wide range of patient groups. Unfortunately, it is also the case that ureteric stents give rise to many bothering symptoms in a large proportion of the patients. In particular, symptoms include pain, lack of bladder function, urinary symptoms, and urinary bleeding. Many patients are so bothered by their stent that they have to give up doing regular daily chores or attend work. Therefore, major studies have been conducted worldwide to elucidate how pronounced these stent-related symptoms are, and partly to examine whether the design / material of the stent can be altered so as to reduce the discomfort with them. To that end, Joshi et al. developed and validated a questionnaire, Ureteral Stent Symptom Questionnaire (USSQ). The questionnaire has formed the basis of several international studies that seek to elucidate and improve the condition of patients with ureter stents. However, this form is not translated or validated into Danish or any other Scandinavian language. Therefore, in order to be able to conduct studies with Danish patients with ureter stents, a translation and validation of the recognized USSQ form is required in Danish.