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Cleaning & Caring for Your Tube

You have had a drain placed in your kidney, which you will need to care for until it is removed. This will include flushing the tube daily as well as cleaning the tube site and changing the dressing. You may need to keep an external drain for an extended period of time, so it will be important for you to understand how to properly care for the drain.

This tube will need to be changed out every three months. An appointment will be set up through Interventional Radiology Services at 801-581-2967.

Contact Us

Speak to our clinical coordinator for any of your treatment concerns.

Hours: Mon-Fri 8 am–5 pm  Phone: 801-581-2967

After-Hours Hospital paging operator: 801-581-2121  Ask for the interventional radiology resident on call.

Flushing Your Drain

You will flush the drain with 5–10cc of sterile saline daily as instructed. Flushing the drain will help keep the tube functioning properly.

  1. Turn the three-way stopcock off to the drainage bag.
  2. Clean the flushing port with alcohol and attach the flush syringe.
  3. Gently inject the flush.
  4. Turn the stopcock off to the flushing port and open to the bag.

It will also be important to change the dressing and clean around the tube every two to three days. You may shower with the drain, but you must change the dressing immediately after showering to keep the dressing clean and dry.

Any time the dressing becomes wet or soiled, you will need to change it. Remove the dressing and clean around the tube with sterile saline using a cotton ball or Q tip. If there is any crusty drainage around the tube, you may clean it with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. A mixture of half hydrogen peroxide and saline or water is recommended. Dry the site after cleaning. Place a clean gauze pad over the tube site and secure it with tape.

If the tube site becomes red, irritated, or you notice drainage around the tube, please contact us.

When Should You Call Your Doctor?

If you show any of these symptoms after the drain is placed, please contact us:

  • Fever of 101 F or greater and or shaking chills.
  • Leakage of drainage or urine around the tube site.
  • If the skin around the tube is red, irritated, or a foul discharge is noted.
  • If you have nausea or vomiting.
  • If you develop unusual pain around the tube or unexplained flank or back pain.
  • If your tube has been capped, uncap the tube and connect to the drainage bag.
  • If your tube pulls back or falls out.
  • Difficulty flushing the tube.
  • Tube not draining when connected to the drainage bag.
  • Foul smelling urine.