What is nephrolithotomies?

Nephrolithotomies is the insertion of a catheter through the skin and body wall into the kidney or pelvis, mainly to provide urine drainage where the ureter is not functional. It is used also to remove or dissolve renal calculi and to diagnose ureteral obstruction.

What is a nephrostomy tube placement?

Nephrostomy tube placement is a procedure where a small catheter is placed through the skin into one or both kidneys. Sometimes when there is a blockage of urine and the kidney cannot drain into the bladder, you develop a condition called hydronephrosis. This is where the urine cannot be expelled normally and fluid backs up into the kidney, causing pain at the flank area on the affected side and abdominal pain. If the excess fluid is not allowed to drain, infection may set in and kidney function may be impaired.

How should I prepare for a nephrostomy tube placement?

You will be asked to have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure. Have someone drive you to the hospital the morning of your exam.

What can I expect during this procedure?

An IV will be started and blood drawn. You will be placed on your stomach on an x-ray table and given medication that will relax you before the procedure begins. A local anesthetic will be injected into the skin. Using ultrasound guidance, a small needle is advanced into the kidney. Once access is obtained to the kidney, a catheter is inserted and secured to allow drainage of the kidney. This catheter is connected to a small bag for urine collection. The bag is small enough to be hidden under clothing and will not be noticeable. A bandage will be applied to keep the catheter in place. You should take care after the procedure not to get the bandage moist or soiled and not to allow the tube to be pulled.

What should I expect after this procedure?

You should be able to go home a few hours after the procedure. The collection bag will need to be emptied as it fills but this is very simple. The amount of time you will have the nephrostomy tube is dependent on several factors. Some patients have them for a few days, others for many months. Long term patients may come back periodically for tube checks and catheter exchanges.

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