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Differences between Nephrostomy and Urostomy

Differences between Nephrostomy and Urostomy

For those unfamiliar with the surgical procedure, a nephrostomy is an opening created in the renal capsule to allow drainage of urine from the kidney. A urostomy is a surgically created opening between the urinary bladder and the exterior of the body that allows urine to exit directly from the bladder into some type of collection bag or device. So what are the key differences between these two procedures? Let’s explore!

What is Nephrostomy?

Nephrostomy is a medical procedure used to relieve blockages in the urinary tract. Nephrostomies can be performed using a variety of techniques, but the most common involves making a small incision in the patient’s back and inserting a thin tube into the kidney.

This tube drains urine from the kidney into a bag outside the body. Nephrostomies are typically performed on an outpatient basis, and patients can usually return home the same day. Nephrostomies are generally safe and effective, but like all medical procedures, there are some risks involved.

Complications from nephrostomy are rare but can include infection, bleeding, and damage to the kidney. Nephrostomies are usually considered a last resort after other methods of treatment have failed.

What is Urostomy?

Urostomy is a procedure in which a stoma, or artificial opening, is created in the urinary tract. The purpose of this surgery is to allow urine to drain from the body without passing through the bladder. Urostomy can be performed for a variety of reasons, including cancer, blockages, and birth defects. The surgery is typically performed using one of two techniques: an ileal conduit or a ureteral diversion. After the stoma is created, a small pouch is attached to the outside of the body to collect urine. Urostomy can be a life-changing surgery, and it is important to discuss all options with a medical professional before making a decision.

Differences between Nephrostomy and Urostomy

Nephrostomy and urostomy are two types of urinary diversion surgery.

  • Nephrostomy involves making an incision in the kidney and inserting a tube to drain urine.
  • Urostomy, on the other hand, involves surgically removing the bladder and creating a stoma (an opening) on the abdominal wall to allow urine to drain.
  • There are several key differences between nephrostomy and urostomy.
  • Nephrostomy is typically less invasive than urostomy and has a shorter recovery time.
  • Nephrostomy also preserves kidney function, whereas urostomy results in the loss of kidney function.

Finally, nephrostomy requires regular care and maintenance of the stent or catheter, whereas urostomy does not. Ultimately, the type of urinary diversion surgery that is right for a particular patient depends on many factors, including the severity of the condition and the preferences of the patient and surgeon.


If you or a loved one are in need of surgery for a urinary tract obstruction, it’s important to understand the difference between nephrostomy and urostomy. Both procedures have their own benefits and drawbacks, so be sure to consult with your doctor about which option is best for you. Thanks for reading!

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