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What is Nephrostomy?

The urinary system consists of kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. The kidney filters your blood to remove waste from your body in the form of urine, which is carried through tubes called ureters to the urinary bladder. Here, it is temporarily stored until convenient to expel through a tube called the urethra.

The ureter may get blocked due to various reasons such as a kidney stone and cancer. This may obstruct the flow of urine and cause its back flow to the kidneys. As a result of this, the kidney can get damaged and stop functioning normally.

This build-up of urine can be relieved by nephrostomy. Nephrostomy is a surgical procedure that involves the insertion of a thin plastic tube through the skin into your kidney to drain urine.

How is the procedure performed?

Nephrostomy is performed under local anesthesia. You are given an intravenous antibiotic to reduce the risk of infection. The complete surgical procedure may take 1 to 2 hours. The procedure is performed with the guidance of X-ray images. You are asked to lie on your stomach on an X-ray table. Your doctor inserts a fine needle into the kidney through the skin on your back and places a guide wire. The wire helps guide the nephrostomy tube in the correct position in the kidney. The tube is firmly stitched into place and connected to a bag outside your body to collect urine.

Following the placement of the nephrostomy, you will probably have to stay in the hospital for a few hours for monitoring or until the next day. Your doctor may prescribe painkillers for post-operative pain. You may have blood in your urine for a couple of days after the surgery. The drainage bag exits your skin from the side of your back and is strapped on your thigh. Remember to always keep the drainage bag at a level lower than the kidney. You can pass urine in a normal way even when you have the nephrostomy tube installed. You will be taught how to look after the nephrostomy and empty the drainage bag.

What risks or complications are associated with the procedure?

Like most surgeries, nephrostomy may be associated with certain risks, which include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Leakage of urine from the kidney into the abdomen

Your doctors at NMC UroCare will advise you on the best options to treat your condition. For further information on the procedure and risks involved with Nephrostomy, you can contact NMC UroCare at http://www.nmcurocare.ae/contact-us/