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Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy or Nephrolithotripsy for Kidney Stones
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.
See a picture of
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
You will be in the hospital for at
least 2 to 3 days. Most people are able to return to work within a few
This procedure may be used to treat
kidney stones that are:
These procedures work for most people with stones in the kidney or ureter.
Risks of this procedure include:
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
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.
Complete the special treatment information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this treatment.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerTushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
Current as ofNovember 14, 2014
Current as of:
November 14, 2014
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Tushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology
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