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Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

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Home > Urology > Urology Treatments > Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is a preferred treatment for large stones within the kidney or upper ureter. The procedure involves making a small incision (1 cm) in the back overlying the location of the kidney. A tunnel is then created from the skin into the kidney to allow passage of a nephroscope. The nephroscope is used to locate the existing stone and any small stones that may not have been visible by X-ray. The nephroscope has an inner channel that allows passage of instruments that are used to break up the stone.

Q Why It Is Done

This procedure may be used to treat kidney stones that are : -

  • Larger than in diameter.
  • Large and caused by an infection (staghorn calculi).
  • Blocking the flow of urine out of the kidney.
  • Not broken up by extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).

Treatment Overview

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Surgery India offers info on Cost Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Surgery India

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) provides the urologist with an important treatment option for patients with : -

  • Stones located in the kidney
  • Stones accompanied by urinary tract anomaly
  • Stones in locations that preclude effective ESWL or endoscopic retrieval

A wide variety of instrumentation is required for percutaneous nephrolithotomy. Each case will present unique challenges. It is imperative that instrumentation is properly selected to match the requirements of the case.

A selection of Boston Scientific instruments can be used for percutaneous access to the urinary tract for stone retrieval and the establishment of nephrostomy drainage.

The following phases in a PCNL procedure can be identified : -

  • Access: guidewire
  • Dilatation: balloons and access sheaths
  • Retrieval: baskets, lithotripsy devices
  • Drainage: catheters

In percutaneous nephrolithotomy or nephrolithotripsy, the surgeon makes a small incision in your back to remove kidney stones. He or she then puts a hollow tube into your kidney and a probe through the tube. In nephrolithotomy, the surgeon removes the stone through the tube. In nephrolithotripsy, he or she breaks the stone up and then removes the fragments of the stone through the tube. You need either general anesthesia or regional or spinal anesthesia during this procedure. A small tube (catheter) inserted into the kidney will drain urine until the kidney heals.

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Q. What To Expect After Treatment

You will be in the hospital for at least 2 to 3 days. Most people are able to return to work within a few weeks.

Q. How Well It Works

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy or nephrolithotripsy successfully removes stones in the kidney about 95 times out of 100 and successfully removes stones in the ureter about 88 times out of 100.


Risks of this procedure include : -

  • Bleeding.
  • Holes (perforation) in the kidney. They usually heal without further treatment.
  • Injury to other abdominal organs, such as the bladder or colon.
  • Damage that affects normal kidney function.


The following complications may take place : -

  • Injury to the colon
  • Injury to the renal blood vessels
  • Urinary leak may persist for few days
  • Sepsis

Q . What To Think About

These procedures are technically difficult. A stone that has left the kidney may need to be pushed back into the kidney with a small tool (ureteroscope) before the surgeon can do the procedure.

These procedures are used more frequently than extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) to remove larger stones, such as staghorn calculi. Every fragment of a staghorn calculus must be removed to prevent the stone from returning.

The list of of Urology Hospitals in India is as follows : -

Apollo Hospitals Bangalore Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore, India
Apollo Hospital Chennai Apollo Hospital, Chennai, India
Apollo Hospitals Hyderabad Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, India
Apollo Hospitals Delhi Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi, India
Apollo Hospitals Kolkata Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Kolkata, India
Apollo Hospital, Goa, India Apollo Hospital, Goa, India
Wockhardt Hospital Bangalore Wockhardt Hospital, Bangalore
Wockhardt Hospital hyderabad Wockhardt Hospital, hyderabad
Wockhardt Hospital Mumbai Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai
Fortis La Femme Womens Hospital Delhi Wockhardt Hospital, Kolkata
Fortis Hospital, Delhi, India Fortis Hospital, Delhi, India
Fortis Hospital Mohali, India Fortis Hospital, Mohali, India
Fortis Hospital Noida, India Fortis Hospital, Noida, India
Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon ( Delhi ) , India Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon ( Delhi ) , India
Max Super Specialty hospital,  Delhi, India Max Super Specialty hospital, Delhi, India
BGS Global Hospital Bangalore, India BGS Global Hospital, Bangalore, India
BGS Global Hospital Chennai, India BGS Global Hospital, Chennai, India
BGS Global Hospital Hyderabad, India BGS Global Hospital, Hyderabad, India

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