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Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol. 2013 Jun;36(3):820-3. doi: 10.1007/s00270-013-0572-8. Epub 2013 Feb 27.

Safe removal of an encrusted nephrostomy tube using a vascular sheath: a technique revisited.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Wrexham, LL13 7TD, UK.


With the advent of interventional radiology and the decrease in mortality from chronic ailments, especially malignancy, percutaneous nephrostomy has become a commonly used safe technique for temporary relief of renal tract obstruction or for urinary diversion. However, these are associated with risks of infection, particularly septicaemia, colonisation, and blockage. Another significant complication is difficulty in removal due to encrustation. We describe a useful technique used in our department for the past few years and cite four cases of variable presentation and complexity for removal of an encrusted nephrostomy tube. No mention of this technique was found recent literature. An almost similar technique was described in the 1980s "Pollack and Banner (Radiology 145:203-205, 1982), Baron and McClennan (Radiology 141:824, 1981)". It is possible that experienced operators may have used this technique. We revisit it with pictographic representation, describing its use with currently available equipment, for benefit of operators who are not aware of this technique.

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