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Nephrostomy Tube Treatment for Kidney Stones

What is Nephrostomy Tube Treatment for Kidney Stones?

When a kidney stone blocks a ureter (the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder), urine backs up into the kidney. Kidney damage and infection can occur because the urine is not able to drain normally.

A nephrostomy is a surgical procedure where a tube is inserted through the skin into the kidney. This tube allows the urine to drain from the kidney. The urine will drain into a bag placed outside of the body. This procedure is done under general anesthesia in the Interventional Radiology department.

Before the Procedure

Special eating and drinking instructions will be given before the day of the procedure.

After the Procedure

Your child will stay in the hospital after the procedure to make sure the nephrostomy tube is working properly. There may be some mild pain and discomfort. It is normal to have some blood in the urine.

Care of the Nephrostomy Tube

Your child may go home with the nephrostomy tube in place. Care of the nephrostomy tube is important. If any germs or bacteria enter the drainage system or tubing, they can easily cause a kidney infection. The tube is on your child’s back with a drainage bag attached, so you may need to help with its care.

  • Keep the nephrostomy tube dry and protect it from water when taking a shower.
  • Keep the skin around it clean.
  • A dressing will cover the tube where it exits the body. The nurse will give you instructions on how to clean and change the dressing.
  • Do not allow the drainage bag to drag on the floor.
  • If the bag becomes accidentally cut or torn or begins to leak, it will need to be changed.

When to Call the Doctor:

  • Fever greater than or equal to 101.5
  • Severe pain
  • No urine draining from the tube
  • Bleeding, the urine is thick with blood and looks like tomato soup

Last Updated 12/2023

Reviewed By Lisa Smith, RN III
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