Home Kidneys and urinary systemKidney disease and health Percutaneous nephrostomy: care and complications

Percutaneous nephrostomy: care and complications

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Nephrostomy is a procedure that consists of changing the course of urine from its source, placing a small tube or flexible catheter through the skin, through the back or side, to reach the kidney and drain the urine through this route. This technique is used when a person suffers from disorders that hinder the physiological path of urine, causing it to accumulate in the kidneys and can generate various alterations that compromise proper kidney function.

Nephrostomy is a widely used method for emergencies and for those for whom the doctor recommends draining the urinary tract of the upper sector. In the same way, there are some cases in which this technique is used for survival, becoming a form of definitive urine diversion. If you want to know more about this medical procedure, in the following FastlyHealarticle, we explain everything about percutaneous nephrostomy: care and complications.

What is the nephrostomy used for?

The specialist may recommend performing the nephrostomy, also known as percutaneous nephrolithotomy when the patient presents any of the following cases:

  • The urine path is blocked and cannot flow normally.
  • You experience severe abdominal pain caused by kidney stones.
  • There are huge stones that cannot be moved and expelled.
  • Urine leaks into the body.
  • You develop a kidney stone that causes urinary tract infections.
  • Kidney stones are causing kidney damage.

Percutaneous nephrostomy considerations

When the percutaneous nephrostomy is done through a traditional surgical procedure, its postoperative care is similar to that of any patient undergoing anesthesia. This is why the person with the nephrolithotomy will be in constant vigilance and maintain the work done by the professionals.

Several aspects must be considered to maintain that the catheter is adequately cared for. The first has to do with fixation, which will depend on the doctor’s considerations; However, it is common for the probe to be placed, giving a point to the skin, protecting this sector with gauze, and using a holding device to fix it correctly.

Professionals may also use a urostomy bag to place the catheter and protect it from potential accidents such as pulling. Despite this, there is the possibility that the probe is fixed with a hydrocolloid clamping plate, so the option selected will depend on each particular case.

Likewise, the patency of the catheter must be controlled because if there is an absence of urine, there may be an accidental leakage of the catheter, a problem in functionality, or an obstruction in the procedure used. In the same way, it must be taken into consideration that the area in which the probe was placed should not contact urine, as it could macerate.

Percutaneous nephrostomy: care

In addition to medical control, it is vital that the patient exercises proper self-care of the nephrostomy to avoid complications, and for this, they have to:

  • Wash hands correctly before dressing changes.
  • Remove the gauze pads carefully without pulling the catheter.
  • Use saline solution to clean the area around the catheter.
  • Disinfect the site in question with sterile gauze pads and a disinfectant solution.
  • Apply the device that the professional chose for fastening.
  • Bind the drainage bag correctly.
  • Change this drainage bag every 24 hours maximum.
  • Bathing daily using or not the dressing.
  • Drink 2 to 3 liters of water every day.
  • Ensure that the drainage bag is not above the waist, as it could cause urine to flow back.
  • Be attentive to various alterations that may appear, either in the skin or problems with the nephrolithotomy.

Even following this care, it is essential to see a doctor urgently if fever, local inflammation, pain, skin redness, absence of urine, significant variations in the volume of drainage, or accidental urine leakage from the catheter occur.

Percutaneous nephrostomy: complications

Although percutaneous nephrostomy is very safe, some risks could complicate the clinical picture, for example, pieces of stones that get trapped in the body. This can cause various alterations, so multiple treatments may be needed to remove them.

Also another complication of this procedure can occur in the presence of blood around the kidney. Similarly, a urinary tract infection or kidney function disorders are also risks.

Having pieces of stones in the body can still be a significant complication since they could block the flow of urine to the kidney, which can cause a lot of pain and damage to this organ. Therefore, before any discomfort or indication of abnormality, it is essential to go to the doctor for a check-up.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Percutaneous nephrostomy: care and complications, we recommend that you enter our Kidneys and urinary system category.

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