Percutaneous Nephrostomy (PCN)

Percutaneous nephrostomy (PCN) is a medical procedure used to treat patients with blockages of the urinary system. The objective of this procedure is to temporarily drain the urine by inserting a nephrostomy catheter through skin into the renal pelvis. This procedure has less side effects than surgery, making it the best option for patients who do not want to have surgery or high-risk patients.

Risks and Complications
  1. Bleeding (4-8%) or blood in urine
  2. Blood infection
  3. Reaction to contrast media
  4. Catheter dislodgement
When you return home you will have to care for your catheter yourself. Please follow these recommendations.
  1. Notice the position and appearance of the catheter and ensure that it is not broken, folded, bent or caught on anything, to prevent the catheter from becoming dislodged.
  2. Notice the appearance of the urine and record the quantity released each day.
  3. If you would like to bathe while the catheter is inserted, you may do so normally. Avoid getting your wound wet or dirty. If your bandage becomes wet enough that it soaks to the gauze below, clean the wound after bathing and place a new bandage on it. Do not soak in water or swim while the catheter is attached.
  4. See your doctor immediately if the following occurs:
    • The catheter has fallen off or moved more than five centimeters.
    • Urine is dark-colored or another color than yellow.
    • Urine is not flowing or is much less than before.
  5. Clean your wound twice a week or as needed. Follow these instructions:
    • Wash your hands with soap two to three times and wipes them dry with a clean cloth before changing the dressing.
    • Use a clean cotton ball soaked in a Betadine solution to wipe around the wound and the catheter attached to the skin. Since the catheter moves in and out as you breathe, use a cotton ball soaked in a 70% alcohol solution to clean the same area again.
    • Cover the wound with sterile gauze, and then place a bandage over the catheter to attach it to your abdomen to prevent it from being bent.
    • Use a bandage to attach the catheter to your abdomen to keep it in place.
  6. Come in to the hospital to have your urine bag changed every month or as recommended by your doctor.
Abnormal coagulation, infection of the circulatory system, last stage cancer and minimal symptoms. This group of patients may be better suited to alternative procedures to alleviate their condition.

After you are discharged, it is recommended that you stay at a hotel close to the hospital for at least two days for convenience in traveling to the hospital if any complications arise after the procedure.

  1. A ureterosigmoidoscopy is a surgical procedure where the ureters are joined to the lower colon to allow urine to evacuate through the rectum.
  2. A ureteroileostomy or Ileo-cutaneous ureterostomy is a surgical procedure when the ureters are joined to the small intestines and the tip of the intestines opens out of the abdomen to allow urine to evacuate.
  3. A cutaneous ureterostomy is a surgical procedure where the ureters are attached to the skin of the abdomen so the urine can be evacuated that way.
  4. A continent internal ileal reservoir (Kock pouch) is a surgical procedure where the ureters are attached to the small intestine, which serves as a reservoir for urine or an artificial urinary bladder with a valve that prevents backflow from the artificial bladder into the kidneys. The artificial bladder is then connected to the urinary tract.
  5. Ureteric stenting is often done in patients suffering from ureteral strictures.

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