A Nephrostomy Tube
Before we begin, let’s first discuss what a nephrostomy tube is and what it is for. A Nephrostomy tube is a catheter or a thin tube that is inserted through the skin at the back and into your kidneys. It is used to drain urine from the kidney directly into a storage bag that it attached usually to the patient’s leg. A patient can have two inserted (one for each kidney) nephrostomy tubes.
A person with a healthy kidney normally will process liquid and create urine. This then drains through the ureter into the bladder. However, in some cases when an obstructions such a kidney stone, infections, congenital malformation happens, the urine is not able to reach the bladder hence prevents it to be eliminated naturally. When this occurs, an interventional radiologist is sought to insert the catheter into the body by using image guidance. This procedure can be done with general anesthesia or with conscious sedation and usually takes less than an hour to be completed.
The Nephrostomy Tube is in situ usually only for a few days and weeks. For extreme cases, it is placed for months wherein it will require new tubes for changing.
Caring for Patients with Nephrostomy Tube & Dressing
Due to its area of placement (at the back), a patient will require assistance for it to be cleaned and maintained properly. The nurse/carer will specify a mark on the catheter tube wherein it should always have the same distance from the disc covering the site. If any movement is observed, consult your medical professional immediately.
The bag must be placed securely on the leg of the patient as a bent catheter can pose a problem. This is essential to be observed because it ensures the catheter isn’t pulled and the urine is able to flow continuously.
There will be cases wherein blood appears in the urine after a procedure. Always make sure to inspect the colour of the urine frequently as well as foul smell or cloudy urine. If it occurs, seek professional help.
To prevent infection or irritation, make sure to always inspect the catheter and dressing. Change the dressing if it becomes loose, wet or soiled.
Contact the doctor or nurse if the following occurs:
- The catheter slips
- The patient develops a fever or gets chills
- The clamp around the disc loosens or opens
- There is pain, swelling, or irritation around the catheter site
- The tube becomes clogged
- The flow of urine is obstructed
Using HyTape to Secure Nephrostomy Catheter and Dressing
HyTape is an ideal choice to use to secure a nephrostomy catheter and also to waterproof the dressing. This is because Hytape is both thin and conforming to the skin which is excellent for securing tubes and devices. Due to its flexibility, it allows free movement and tissue shifts which reduces the risk of skin injuries. It also has zinc-oxide which is perfect for those with sensitive skin. Lastly, HyTape is waterproof hence allows the area to be cleaned with soap and water without compromising the dressing.
Less changing of dressing equals to less irritation on the skin. This results in faster healing and a better quality of life.
For more information about HyTape please don’t hesitate to contact us.