A nephrostomy tube is a soft plastic tube that is inserted though the back and into the kidney. It ensures that the kidney is draining urine well. Nephrostomy tubes are commonly used for complex kidney stones. They may be inserted either before treatment because of blockage by stones, or after treatment until swelling goes down or until stones are removed by further surgery.
What should I expect?
If you have a nephrostomy tube, you may experience:
- Dull backache, which may get worse during urination
- Blood stained urine (like fruit punch) and occasional clots, which may increase with physical activity
- Irritation at the insertion site
- Leakage of small amounts of urine around tube
What should I NOT expect?
- Fever may be a sign of an obstructed tube. You should contact your urologist immediately.
- Increasing back pain may be a sign of an obstructed tube and you should contact your urologist
- Large amounts of urine leaking around the tube may be a sign of an obstruction and you should contact your urologist
- Large amounts of blood in the urine
- Redness spreading away from the incision site may be a sign of skin infection.
What should I expect after the tube is removed?
- Urine may leak out the back for 1 to 2 days after the nephrostomy tube is removed. If it lasts longer, you should contact your urologist.
- Blood in the urine usually disappears within 2 to 4 days.