Nephrostomy Tube Placement

What Is A Nephrostomy Tube?

A nephrostomy tube is placed to drain urine from the kidney when it is being blocked from draining normally into the bladder.

Before The Procedure

Do not eat for 8 hours or drink for 4 hours before the procedure. Certain medications may increase your risk of bleeding and may need to be held prior to your procedure. You may resume these medications the day after your procedure unless otherwise instructed.

During The Procedure

Sedation and pain medication are provided for comfort. You will lie on your stomach during the procedure. Your back will be cleaned, and the site numbed. An ultrasound machine may be used to visualize the kidney. Next, a needle is placed into the kidney and a contrast dye will be injected. The tube will then be inserted after the site has been dilated to the size of the tube. The tube will be secured when it is in place and a drainage bag will be connected. The procedure takes 1-1½ hours to complete.

After The Procedure

The nephrostomy tube and the drainage bag will be secured to your leg or your clothing. Be sure not to pull on it or disconnect it. You may take a shower but cover the dressing with plastic wrap, so it doesn’t get wet. Do not take a bath, swim, or sit in a hot tub.

The nephrostomy tube should be changed every 3 months or sooner if an issue occurs. Please review the following video to learn more about caring for your nephrostomy tube.

When To Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if the catheter is partially or completely pulled out, or if there is a large amount of bloody urine. Urine may be blood tinged for the first few days. Call if there is leakage around the catheter or no drainage from the tube — the tube may be plugged. Report a fever or any signs of infection at the insertion site such as redness, drainage, or swelling.

If you have any questions, please discuss them with your doctor.

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. To help ensure quality and safety, we ask that you do not bring young children with you to your appointments, as children are not allowed to accompany you during Imaging procedures. Staff is unable to monitor your child in your absence.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

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