What is done before a nephrostomy?
Tell your doctor if you are on any medications such as blood-thinning ones (Aspirin and warfarin), any herbs, and supplements. You may be asked to discontinue them a few days before the surgery.
Inform your doctor if you are or think you could be pregnant.
Your doctor may ask you to fast a night before a nephrostomy (in case of general anesthesia).
How is a nephrostomy performed?
The nephrostomy procedure may be performed by either a urologist or radiologist. A urologist is a doctor who is specialized in treating disorders of the urinary tract, whereas a radiologist is a doctor who has specialization in diagnosing and treating diseases using medical imaging procedures such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and so on.
You will be given sedatives or local anesthetic medication to make the surgical area numb. Alternatively, the doctor can plan to give you general anesthesia that makes you numb throughout the procedure.
Next, the doctor inserts a needle into your back. They make use of an X-ray or ultrasound to check if the needle has been inserted properly to reach the kidney. They then insert a wire through this needle. The nephrostomy tube is inserted over this wire. A contrast (X-ray dye) may be injected through this tube, and an X-ray will be taken to check if the tube has been placed correctly. Instead of an X-ray, an ultrasound may be used. Next, the wire is removed, and the tube is properly fixed in its position into the kidney. Doctors use stitches or dressings to secure the tube on the skin. The tube is attached to a bag for collecting the urine. The bag is generally strapped to your legs.