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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 mass.
If you have only one tube, you will still need to urinate as usual. Your other kidney will still produce urine that will drain into your bladder.
Having a nephrostomy tube in place increases the risk of getting an infection. Caring for this tube as you have been instructed will help to prevent 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.
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: 9/13/2023
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
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