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A nephrostomy tube is a thin catheter placed into your kidney to drain urine. You may have one tube in a kidney or two tubes, one in each kidney. The urine collects in a bag attached to the tube. In most cases, the bag is attached to your leg. Sometimes the catheter tube has a valve that lets you drain the urine into the toilet or other container.
You may need a nephrostomy tube if you have a blockage or a hole in your urinary tract. The blockage may be caused by a kidney stone, infection, scar tissue, or a tumour.
If you have only one tube, you still need to urinate. Your other kidney will still produce urine that will drain into your bladder.
Having a nephrostomy tube in for a long time increases the risk of getting an infection. Nephrostomy tube care focuses on preventing infection.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Follow the instructions below if your healthcare provider has told you that it’s OK to clean your nephrostomy bag at home and you don’t have a weakened immune system.
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Adaptation Date: 3/2/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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