Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)

The process of removing kidney stones from a patient’s kidney in cases where they are too large to pass on their own is known as Percutaneous nephrolithotomy. The surgeon proceeds by making an incision in the patient’s back and then uses small telescopes and instruments to finally remove the kidney stones. Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is opted for when other procedures like extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy or ureteroscopy are either unsuccessful or not possible.

The following situations require Percutaneous nephrolithotomy to be performed:
  • Large kidney stones blocking more than one branch of the collecting
    system of the kidney, also known as staghorn kidney stones.
  • Kidney stones are larger than 0.4 to 0.6 inch (1 to 1.5 centimeter) in diameter.
  • Large stones are in the ureter
  • Other therapies have failed
  • The person is obese

Before a patient undergoes Percutaneous nephrolithotomy, the doctor will perform tests like checking of urine for signs of infection, blood tests and computerized tomography (CT) which helps hone in on where exactly the stones are in the kidney.