Nephrostomy tubes are placed when there is a blockage in one or both of the tubes, called ureters, that drain urine from the kidneys into the bladder. The most common reasons for a blockage include kidney stones or narrowing caused by a growth. A nephrostomy tube may be placed in one or both kidneys and is usually temporary. If the blockage is not resolved, your physician may recommend a ureteral stent, which bypasses the ureter to drain urine from the kidneys into the bladder.
How to Prepare
You may need to have blood drawn in advance of your procedure.
A nurse may call you the day before your procedure to review your medications and any last-minute instructions.
Do not eat anything for six hours before your procedure.
Wear loose clothing.
Bring someone to drive you home.
What to Expect
The procedure begins with an assessment and an IV start in the holding room before going to the interventional radiology lab.
You may be given a mild sedative to help you relax, as well as an antibiotic before the procedure.
In the lab, the interventional radiology staff will help you onto a narrow table, connect you to the monitoring equipment and clean the access site with an alcohol-based solution.
The interventional radiologist will numb the skin with a local anesthetic and locate the kidney under X-ray.
After inserting a flexible tube into the kidney via your lower back, the radiologist will connect the external portion of the tube to a drainage bag.
You will return to the holding room for a few hours of recovery.
After the Procedure
It is normal for the urine to have a bloody tinge immediately after placement of the tubes.
Do not shower for 48 hours. Then keep the insertion site dry for the next two weeks, or until completely healed. Do not take baths.
If the nephrostomy tube will be left in long-term, you will have follow-up appointments to change out the tube as directed by your physician.
Videos are provided only as a general reference and are not the property of Kalispell Regional Healthcare or a comprehensive overview of your specific procedure. Talk with your doctor before making any decisions about your treatment.