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Nephrostomy Tube Placement

Nephrostomy tubes drain urine directly from your kidney.  These tubes are needed when there is a blockage in the

urinary system.  Blockages can be caused by a variety of causes including stones, scarring and cancer.

Before your procedure

Before the procedure, you will have an IV line placed in your arm. You may get medication through your IV that will make you feel drowsy. The medication will control pain and anxiety.

During your procedure

The area where the kidney will be accessed will be cleaned and numbed with local anesthetic (lidocaine/novocaine).  Access to the kidney will be obtained through your back or side.  The doctor will use ultrasound to guide a small needle into the kidney in order to get access.  The needle will then be changed over a wire for the plastic tube.  

After your procedure

You will stay in our recover area for approximately 3-4 hours to make sure you are fully awake and feeling well following the procedure.

You may have some discomfort at at the access site. This should get better in 24 to 48 hours. You can take over-the-counter pain medication if you need it. Most people don’t need any pain medication.

Caring for your access site

Do not get the area wet for 24 hours.  After 24 hours, you can shower, but still need avoid getting the site wet.  You should not take a bath or swim for the entire time that you have the nephrostomy tube.  It is normal for the urine to be pink following the procedure, this should clear up in 2-3 days.

Call Your Doctor if You:

  • A fever of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Your urine gets progressively bloodier
  • You have bleeding around your tube


Our mission at NY Imaging Specialists is to provide the highest-quality advanced imaging in a patient-centered and compassionate environment, with the comfort and convenience of being close to home.

Call to schedule an appointment at 833-269-4624.