What is a Nephrostomy?

What is a Nephrostomy?

A nephrostomy is a medical procedure where a tube is inserted through the skin and into the kidney to create a temporary or permanent pathway for urine to drain from the kidney to an external collection bag. Here's more information on what it is, its purpose, and how it is cared for:

1. **Purpose**:
- **Relief of Urinary Obstruction:** Nephrostomies are typically performed when there is a blockage or obstruction in the urinary system that prevents urine from draining properly from the kidney. This blockage can be caused by kidney stones, tumors, strictures, or other conditions.

2. ** Caring for a Nephrostomy**:
- **Drainage Bag:** Urine drained through the nephrostomy tube is collected in a drainage bag. This bag should be kept below the level of the kidney to ensure proper drainage.
- **Securing the Tube:** The nephrostomy tube is typically secured to the skin with sutures or an adhesive dressing. It's important to keep the tube secured in place to prevent accidental dislodgement.
- **Cleaning and Dressing:** Proper hygiene is crucial. Clean the skin around the insertion site with mild soap and water, and change the dressing regularly to prevent infection.
- **Monitoring Output:** Healthcare providers often monitor the amount and appearance of urine output to ensure the kidney is functioning properly.
- **Pain Management:** Patients may experience some discomfort or pain at the insertion site. Pain management options may be provided.
- **Infection Prevention:** Watch for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, warmth, or discharge around the tube insertion site, and report any concerns to a healthcare provider promptly.

Always check guidelines with your trust. This is just an overview and is not advice.

Nephrostomies can be temporary or permanent, depending on the underlying condition and the patient's needs. 

Back to blog