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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
A percutaneous (through the skin) nephrostomy is a therapeutic procedure in which a catheter is placed through the skin into the fluid containing structures inside the kidney. Children’s Division of Interventional Radiology uses ultrasound and x-ray to guide the placement of the catheter.
Our pediatric interventional radiologists (the doctors who do the procedure) are highly trained in the performance of invasive procedures on infants and children.
In addition to the interventional radiologist, your child will be cared for by a team of anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners, nurses and technologists who specialize in caring for children undergoing interventional radiology procedures and treatments.
We perform percutaneous nephrostomy in our suite on the second floor of the hospital, which features three procedure rooms equipped with the latest imaging technology, a recovery area for patients who have received sedation or anesthesia and examining rooms for outpatient visits.
What is a percutaneous nephrostomy?
A percutaneous nephrostomyis performed when there is blockage or obstruction in the part of the urinary tract draining the urine between the kidneys and bladder. This part of the urinary tract is called the renal collecting system.
During this procedure, a catheter is placed through the kidney into the renal collecting system. The placement of the catheter is done under image guidance, which means that images or pictures taken through ultrasound and x-ray are used to guide the placement of the catheter.
When might a percutaneous nephrostomy be needed?
Indications for percutaneous nephrostomy include obstructions or blockages of the renal collecting system, with or without associated infection. Specific diagnoses include:
How should I prepare my child for a percutaneous nephrostomy?
You will be given detailed instructions regarding time and place of arrival and dietary preparation.
Some children may need to have an appointment in the pre-op clinic.
Your child may receive general anesthesia to help him stay still during the procedure. General anesthesia is medicine that causes deep sleep. The anesthesiologist will discuss this with you and obtain consent, either the day of the procedure or at a scheduled pre-operative visit.
Explain in simple terms why the procedure is needed and what will happen.
What should I expect when I bring my child to the hospital for a percutaneous nephrostomy?
A staff person from Admitting, Day Surgery or our Preoperative Clinic will call you a few days before the procedure to tell you where to go when you come to the hospital.
What happens before the percutaneous nephrostomy?
What happens during a percutaneous nephrostomy?
What happens after the percutaneous nephrostomy?
Is a percutaneous nephrostomy safe?
Percutaneous nephrostomy, when performed by an appropriately trained and experienced interventional radiologist, is a safe procedure which can usually be performed under sedation. As with all invasive procedures, complications and side effects may occur. These will be explained to you in detail before you give your consent.
Your child will be exposed to ionizing radiation (x-rays) during the procedure. We believe that the benefit to your child’s health outweighs the exposure that occurs during the percutaneous nephrostomy. Because children are more sensitive to radiation exposure than adults, we have been leaders in adjusting equipment and procedures to deliver the lowest possible dose to young patients.
How do I learn the results of the percutaneous nephrostomy?
The interventional radiologist will inform you of the results immediately after the procedure. If you have any questions, please speak to your child’s doctor.
Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston MA 02115
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”