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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.

Back to Imaging Patient Instructions

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO