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Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy is the removal of kidney stones through a small back incision with the aid of a small camera.
Although this is a more invasive approach to treating kidney stones than lithotripsy, it is the most effective treatment for larger kidney stones (more than 2 cm, or .8 in., in diameter), and stones that are not successfully broken down through a lithotripsy.
In this procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision in the back, where a telescopic instrument is inserted to find the stones and surgical tools are used to remove them.
How it Works
You will need general anesthesia during this procedure. A small tube (catheter) may be inserted into the kidney to drain urine until the kidney heals.
The surgeon will make an incision over the kidney, usually along the lowest rib on your back. A small tube will then be inserted into the incision, through which a tiny camera and surgical tools are used to locate and remove the stone(s). The incision is then stitched up to heal.
What to Expect
Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy is a minimally invasive surgery, and proper post-operative care is crucial for recovery. You should expect to be in the hospital for at least one or two days. Most people are able to return to work within a few weeks.
The success rate of nephrolithotripsy is very high, about 95 percent from the kidney and 88 percent from the ureter.