A nephrostomy is a procedure in which a tube called a catheter is placed into the kidney. A CT scan or ultrasound guides the catheter into the kidney.

A nephrostomy is done to drain urine from your kidney. This needs to be done when urine cannot come out as it normally does. Specific conditions that may cause this include:

  • Damage to the bladder
  • Blockage in the ureter, which is the tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder, due to:
    • Infection
    • Tumor
    • Kidney stone
    • Scar tissue
    • A condition that is present at birth

Kidney Stone
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A nephroscopy through a nephrostomy may also be used to look at the kidneys and ureters before other procedures are done, such as kidney stone removal. This may also help your doctor make a diagnosis.