- What Is It
- Why Is It Done
A nephrostomy tube can remain in the kidney as long as the obstruction in your urinary tract does not get relieved. It may need to stay in for a short time such as till a stone passes naturally. It may be needed for only two to three days, or it may need to stay in for a much longer period to allow a more permanent solution for the blockage to be organized. It creates a passage for the urine to bypass the bladder and pass outside the body into a bag (placed near to your body). Based on the underlying cause of the obstruction (a stone or narrowing of the ureter) and your situation, the doctor can tell you how long the tube needs to stay in its place. If the causative problem is treated, your doctor will remove the tube. If the problem persists, the opening of the nephrostomy will remain permanent, and the tube will need to be changed periodically.
What is a nephrostomy?
Nephrostomy is a surgical procedure in which a thin plastic/rubber tube or catheter (nephrostomy tube) is inserted through your back to reach up to your kidney. One end of the nephrostomy tube is connected to the kidney, and the other end is attached to a bag placed outside your body. If you are not able to pass urine through your urethra due to the buildup of pressure in your bladder, you can urinate through this tube into the bag (by opening the tube’s tap).
Why is a nephrostomy performed?
Your doctor may recommend you a nephrostomy if
- You have an obstruction in the urinary flow.
- The size of your kidney stone is very large.
- The treatment for kidney stone fails to relieve your pain (renal colic).
- You get frequent urine infections due to the kidney stone.
- Your kidneys are getting damaged due to the kidney stone.
What is done before a nephrostomy?
Tell your doctor if you are on any medications such as blood-thinning ones (Aspirin and warfarin), any herbs, and supplements. You may be asked to discontinue them a few days before the surgery.
Inform your doctor if you are or think you could be pregnant.
Your doctor may ask you to fast a night before a nephrostomy (in case of general anesthesia).
How is a nephrostomy performed?
The nephrostomy procedure may be performed by either a urologist or radiologist. A urologist is a doctor who is specialized in treating disorders of the urinary tract, whereas a radiologist is a doctor who has specialization in diagnosing and treating diseases using medical imaging procedures such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and so on.
You will be given sedatives or local anesthetic medication to make the surgical area numb. Alternatively, the doctor can plan to give you general anesthesia that makes you numb throughout the procedure.
Next, the doctor inserts a needle into your back. They make use of an X-ray or ultrasound to check if the needle has been inserted properly to reach the kidney. They then insert a wire through this needle. The nephrostomy tube is inserted over this wire. A contrast (X-ray dye) may be injected through this tube, and an X-ray will be taken to check if the tube has been placed correctly. Instead of an X-ray, an ultrasound may be used. Next, the wire is removed, and the tube is properly fixed in its position into the kidney. Doctors use stitches or dressings to secure the tube on the skin. The tube is attached to a bag for collecting the urine. The bag is generally strapped to your legs.
What are the complications of the nephrostomy procedure?
A nephrostomy procedure is generally safe. Possible risks include:
- Hemorrhage (bleeding)
- Kidney infection
- Kidney damage
- Tube blockage
- Damage to the structures (during the surgery)
- Allergic reaction to contrast injection
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Percutaneous kidney procedures. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007375.htm
Top Nephrostomy Tube in the Kidney Related Articles
Can a Kidney Infection Cause Back Pain?Many people are affected by lower back pain. Learn how to tell if lower back pain is due to a kidney infection or the result of other causes.
Diabetes and Kidney DiseaseIn the United States diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. High blood pressure and high levels of blood glucose increase the risk that a person with diabetes will eventually progress to kidney failure. Kidney disease in people with diabetes develops over the course of many years. albumin and eGFR are two key markers for kidney disease in people with diabetes. Controlling high blood pressure, blood pressure medications, a moderate protein diet, and compliant management of blood glucose can slow the progression of kidney disease. For those patients who's kidneys eventually fail, dialysis or kidney transplantation is the only option.
How Is a CT Urogram Performed?A CT (computed tomography) urogram is a non-invasive radiological examination of the urinary system. The doctor injects a mildly radioactive tracer compound into your vein, which then allows the radiologist to view the structure and function of the kidneys and bladder using the CT scanner.
Is Kidney Cancer Curable?Kidney cancer is an uncontrolled division of cells (cancer) that begins in the kidney. How curable is a particular cancer depends on its stage, its cell type, and the stage at which it is diagnosed.
Kidney CancerThere are several types of kidney cancer, including renal cell cancer (renal adenocarcinoma or hypernephroma), transitional cell carcinoma, and Wilms tumor. Symptoms of kidney cancer include blood in the urine, an abdominal lump or mass, chronic pain in the side, and tiredness. Treatment of kidney cancer -- which may include surgery, arterial embolization, radiation therapy, biological therapy or chemotherapy -- depends upon the stage of the disease and the patient's overall health.
Hypertensive Kidney DiseaseHigh blood pressure can damage the kidneys and is one of the leading causes of kidney failure (end-stage renal kidney disease). Kidney damage, like hypertension, can be unnoticeable and detected only through medical tests. If you have kidney disease, you should control your blood pressure. Other treatment options include prescription medications.
Kidney Disease QuizKidney disease is common. Take this kidney disease quiz to test your knowledge and learn the symptoms, causes and types of kidney disease and what foods to eat and avoid!
Kidney (Renal) Failure
Kidney failure can occur from an acute event or a chronic condition or disease. Prerenal kidney failure is caused by blood loss, dehydration, or medication. Some of the renal causes of kidney failure include sepsis, medications, rhabdomyolysis, multiple myeloma, and acute glomerulonephritis.
Post renal causes of kidney failure include bladder obstruction, prostate problems, tumors, or kidney stones.Treatment options included diet, medications, or dialysis.
Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)Kidney infection (pyelonephritis) usually is caused by E. coli and other bacteria that have spread from the bladder from a UTI (urinary tract infection), poor hygiene, sexual intercourse, pregnancy, catheter, cystoscope exam, surgery, kidney stones, or prostate enlargement. Symptoms of kidney infection include back pain, frequent urination, pain during urination, fever, and or pus or blood in the urine. Kidney infection can be cured with antibiotic treatment. Cranberry juice may prevent UTIs, but that hasn’t been proven in all research studies.
Kidney Pain vs. Back PainThe signs and symptoms of kidney pain and back pain depend upon the underlying cause. Doctors may use blood tests, X-rays, CT, and/or MRI to diagnose kidney pain and back pain. Treatment may include rest, ice, stretching, muscle strengthening, and pain-relieving medications.
The First Signs of Kidney Stones (Nephrolithiasis)
Kidney stones are solid masses of crystalline material that form in the kidneys. Symptoms of kidney stones can include pain, nausea, vomiting, and even fever and chills. Kidney stones are diagnosed via CT scans and specialized X-rays. Treatment of kidney stones involves drinking lots of fluids and taking over-the-counter pain medications to medical intervention including prescription medications, lithotripsy, and sometimes even surgery.
Kidneys PictureThe kidneys are a pair of organs located in the back of the abdomen. See a picture of the Kidneys and learn more about the health topic.
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), ARPKD, and ADPKDPolycystic kidney disease (PKD) is characterized by numerous cysts in the kidneys. Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder. There are two major inherited forms of PKD, autosomal dominant PKD, and autosomal recessive PKD. Symptoms include headaches, urinary tract infections, blood in the urine, liver and pancreatic cysts, abnormal heart valves, high blood pressure, kidney stones, aneurysms, and diverticulosis. Diagnosis of PKD is generally with ultrasound, CT or MRI scan. There is no cure for PKD, so treatment of symptoms is usually the general protocol.
What Are the Signs That Something Is Wrong With My Kidneys?Most of the signs of kidney diseases are unnoticed, ignored, or appear very late in the disease. Over 37 million American adults have kidney diseases, and most are not aware of it.
Ways to Keep Your Kidneys HealthyYou might know that more than a drink or two a day is bad for your health. But in some cases, any alcohol at all may not be a great idea.