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What is a Nephrostomy Tube?
Your healthcare provider has requested that you undergo the placement of a nephrostomy tube. This flexible rubber tube is used to treat conditions that affect your kidney, ureter or bladder. The tube is placed into the kidney and allows urine to drain into a bag located outside of the body.
How Should I Prepare?
You should not eat or drink anything for six hours prior to your procedure. You may take your medications as directed. Speak to your doctor if you need to adjust your insulin dosing. Prior to your procedure, you should make sure all medications and allergies are updated. If you are on a blood thinner you may be requested to stop that medication for a period of time. You will want to arrange for a ride home from a responsible adult should you require sedation.
How is the Procedure Performed?
The procedure will be performed by an interventional radiologist, who is a physician with specific training in image-guided procedures. The procedure will be performed under fluoroscopy (x-ray) and intravenous medications may be given to make you more comfortable and relaxed. This is called conscious sedation. You will be positioned on your stomach or side and the skin will be cleaned with sterilizing solution. The skin will be injected with numbing medication. A needle is then advanced into the kidney, and the nephrostomy tube is placed.
What Should I Expect After the Procedure?
Following the procedure, you will be monitored for a period of time for any complications. It is recommended to exchange nephrostomy tubes every 2-3 months to avoid them becoming clogged. If not replaced, the clogged tube can result in infection and discomfort.