Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy or Nephrolithotripsy
This procedure is used to remove kidney stones.
The doctor makes a small incision in your back. The doctor then puts a hollow tube into your kidney and a probe through the tube.
- In nephrolithotomy, the doctor removes the stone through the tube.
- In nephrolithotripsy, the doctor 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) may be inserted into the kidney to drain urine until the kidney heals.
What To Expect
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.
Why It Is Done
This procedure may be used to treat kidney stones that are:
- Larger than 2 cm (0.8 in.) 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).
How Well It Works
These procedures work for most people with stones in the kidney or ureter.
Risks of this procedure include:
- 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.
Current as of:
March 1, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Tushar J. Vachharajani MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
Current as of: March 1, 2023
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Tushar J. Vachharajani MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology