Percutanuous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)

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Percutaneous Lithotripsy (PCNL) is the best treatment for large Kidney Stones in the kidney. General anesthesia is needed to do a PCNL. PCNL involves making a half-inch incision (cut) in the back or side, just large enough to allow a rigid telescope (nephroscope) to be passed into the hollow center part of the kidney where the stone is located.

An instrument passed through the nephroscope breaks up the stone and suctions out the pieces. The ability to suction pieces makes PCNL the best treatment choice for large stones.

After the PCNL, a tube is usually left in the kidney to drain urine into a bag outside of the body. This will allow for drainage of urine and stop any bleeding. The tube is left in overnight or for a few days. You may have to stay in the hospital overnight after this operation.

Your urologist may choose to do X-rays while you are still in the hospital to see if any stone pieces remain. If there are any, your urologist may want to look back into the kidney with a telescope again to remove them. You can begin normal activities after about one-to-two weeks.


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