A nephrostomy or percutaneous nephrostomy is the insertion of a catheter (thin plastic tube) into the kidney through an opening in the skin. The catheter is passed from the back, through the kidney, to reach the place where urine is collected. The catheter is attached to a collecting bag outside the body. The purpose of nephrostomy is to temporarily drain the blocked urine so that kidneys can function properly and be prevented from any further damage. This may also clear any infection.
Why is nephrostomy done?
In normal process, urine is made in the two kidneys and passed to the bladder by a tube called the ureter. If this path is blocked at any point due to any reason, there will be accumulation of urine. This can hamper the functioning of kidneys and may even cause kidney damage. Also, the blocked urine can cause infection and some other serious illnesses.
Nephrostomy is required in cases where urine gets blocked or stays in kidneys and can cause severe problems. This may include conditions like:
- Blocking of ureters by stones, cancer or blood clots
- Pelvic tumors
- Damage to the urinary system
- Prostate cancer
A nephrostomy tube may be required for one or both kidneys and it may remain in place for days, weeks or months depending upon the cause and condition of patient.
What Happens — Before, During, and After Nephrostomy?
- Patient should bring all previous X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds or MRI scans along with on the night before procedure
- Patient should inform the doctors or nurses about all medications he is taking so that any medicine that may interfere with the procedure can be stopped
- Patient should be on fasting i.e. no food and water before the procedure
- Patient is brought in the procedure room (radiology) and asked to change the clothes and wear a gown.
- Patient lies on the special X-ray bed on his stomach or slightly on his side.
- A local anesthesia (very rarely general anesthesia) is given to numb the area where catheter is to be inserted.
- Now surgeon makes a small incision in the back and inserts a needle into the kidney with the help of image guidance.
- Patient may feel some pressure due to insertion of catheter and wire, but this discomfort is usually tolerable.
- As soon as the collecting system enters the kidney, a catheter is placed and left to drain.
- The other end of the nephrostomy tube remains outside the body to drain urine into a bag.
- Finally, stitches are applied to secure the tube at the skin surface
- A drainage bag is attached to the catheter
- There can be some bruises or slight pain at the site of tube insertion
- Urine can be blood stained that clears on its own within 1-2 days
- If required, pain-relief medications and antibiotics are given to the patient
- Patient should have someone to take home after procedure
Benefits of Nephrostomy
The procedure makes a different way for the urine to pass and come out of the body. This gives lot of benefit to the patient like:
- Relief from blocked urine and its symptoms like fever, pain, chills etc.
- Reduces chances of further kidney damage or kidney failure
- Maintains kidney function
- Provides extended period to treat the underlying condition
- Rarely it can also be a permanent solution to prevent further complications (in such cases nephrostomy tube is exchanges periodically)
- In some cases, nephrostomy may help in diagnosis and treatment of underlying conditions
At home care of Nephrostomy
Once the patient is stable, he can go home. But there are some instructions that patient must follow for adequate working of the nephrostomy tube. These are:
- Stay calm and take everything easily as few initial days can be uncomfortable specially to bend and climbing stairs
- Sponge bathing can be done on following days after nephrostomy to prevent wetting of the bandage
- Avoid sudden movements that may tug on the tube
- Contact sports or rough playing is not allowed after nephrostomy as it may pull or damage the catheter
- Change the bag as advised by the doctor
- Always wash hands before and after changing the bag or dressing
- Drink plenty of fluids
- In case of anything that is unusual, consult your doctor immediately
Why MedTours Global?
- We are associated with the best hospitals globally having the emergency infrastructure, fully equipped with the latest technologies and techniques to overcome from every emergency condition.
- Our team of doctors are highly experienced in ‘Emergency Patient Management’ and work together to save the patient.
- Consultation from doctors through e-mail, phone, and video calling.
- Rehabilitation programs are organized to assist complex surgery patients.
- Complete support and assistance being given before and after treatment.
- Cost of treatment is quite less as compared to other service providers.
- We are always ready to offer our helping hand and our services are available Free of Cost 24/7.