Nephrostomy tube placement is done to drain urine from one or both of the kidneys. This procedure is normally done to establish a collecting system during cancers, infections or kidney stones.
Placement: The radiologist will use an ultrasound or fluoroscopy to locate the area of the kidney that the tube will be placed. A needle is used to gain access to the collecting system and a tube is placed over a wire after access is obtained. The tube is secured with a disc with one end of the tube in the kidney and the other end attached to a bag to collect the urine.
Removal: A nephrostomy tube can be removed at any time. If it it must remain attached, catheters are cleaned on unique-to-patient intervals. To remove a nephrostomy tube, the doctor injects the site with an anesthetic to numb the area. The doctor will then remove the tube and appropriately place a bandage over the access point.