This page explains what is involved in a Nephrostogram and what to expect.
What is a Nephrostogram?
A Nephrostogram is used to look at the tube (ureter) passing between your child’s kidney and bladder. It uses ‘contrast’, a clear liquid, which can be seen on x-rays. The liquid is introduced through their nephrostomy tube (a catheter) that is inserted through your skin and into your kidney. The nephrostomy tube drains urine from your kidney into a collecting bag outside your body.
When you receive your appointment letter
If you are unable to keep this appointment, please inform the department as soon as possible.
If your child is likely to need a hoist during the appointment, please telephone us in advance so that we can make sure this is ready for you.
Before the appointment
If you are pregnant or think you could be pregnant, please let us know. The x-rays used in the fluoroscopy scan could harm your unborn baby, so we would advise bringing another adult to come into the scanning room with your child.
If your child is 12 years old or older and of childbearing potential, we will ask them about their periods and any possibility that they could be pregnant; this is a legal obligation that we must ask.
The person bringing your child to the scan should have ‘Parental Responsibility’ for them. Parental Responsibility refers to the individual who has legal rights, responsibilities, duties, power and authority to make decisions for a child. If the person bringing your child does not have Parental Responsibility, we may have to cancel the scan.
What to bring with you?
- It can help if your child has a favourite toy to hold to comfort them during the study. Electronic devices such as iPads are welcome.
- You might want to bring some spare clothes in case any of the contrast liquid spills.
The day of the study
Please dress your child in clothing which does not contain metal, for example zips and buttons
Arrive at the Radiology department at the time stated in your child’s appointment letter.
You are welcome to stay with your child throughout the test. Everyone staying inside the examination room will need to wear a lead coat.
Before we begin, your child may need to remove any metallic objects.
We may need to remove any clothing or dressings that cover the nephrostomy tube.
Your child will lie on the x-ray bed and some liquid will be inserted through the tube. This liquid shows on X-rays. A series of pictures will be taken with your child lying in different positions on the bed.
Occasionally, the contrast can take longer than expected to travel to the bladder. It may be necessary for your child to get off the x-ray bed and walk around for a few minutes. We will let you know if this is needed.
After the scan
Once the test is complete you are free to leave the radiology department.
A report outlining the results of the procedure will be sent to the doctor who referred your child for this test.
Are there any risks?
The liquid will not interfere with any medicines your child is taking.
It is our legal duty to tell you about the potential risk of having a fluoroscopy study. The studies are only ever requested if the benefits outweigh the risks involved. The study does use radiation, but the dose is kept as low as possible. This is because the radiographers are specially trained to obtain the best quality pictures while using the lowest amount of radiation possible.
Anyone staying in the room with your child will need to wear a lead apron – this works as a barrier to radiation. We advise that anyone who is pregnant or thinks they might be pregnant should not go into the room.
Are there any alternatives?
Other types of imaging studies, such as MRI, CT or Ultrasound, can be used to visualise the kidneys, the ureters and the bladder. Your child’s medical team has decided that a Nephrostogram is the best method for your child. If you would like to discuss the alternatives, we encourage you to speak to your child’s medical team in advance.
A radiologist will be present during the study and we encourage you and your child to ask any questions you might have about the procedure.
Further information and support
If you have any questions, please telephone the Radiology department on 020 7829 8615, extension 0361.
If your child feels unwell after the test, please phone NHS 111 or attend your local Urgent Care Centre or Emergency Department.
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Another way of raising a concern is to contact our Pals Office – they are based in the main reception area and open from Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm. You can also call them on 020 7829 7862 or email email@example.com. The Pals team can offer independent advice and support, working with you to sort out a problem along with members of staff.
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Patient Advice and Liaison Service (Pals)
Another way of raising a concern is to contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (Pals). The Pals team can offer independent advice and support, working with you to sort out a problem along with members of staff.
If you require a copy of this information in a different format or language, please contact the Pals team for assistance.