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Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

The Queen’s Medical Center Kidney Stone Center offers Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL), a surgery performed to remove stones directly from the kidney. When kidney stones form in the kidneys and may become too large to remove by other means, a percutaneous nephrolithotomy may need to be performed. Depending on your individual needs and your surgeon preferences, locating the kidney stone may take place within the interventional radiology department. To help determine where the procedure will be performed, please call the Kidney Stone Center or your doctor for more information.

What can you expect during the PCNL surgery?
  1. The patient will be placed under anesthesia and an incision is made on the flank (or lower portion of your back closest to the affected kidney). A small hollow tube is placed between the kidney and your skin through the incision.
  2. The stones are visualized and removed through the hollow tube.
  3. After the stones are removed, a nephrostomy tube is inserted to drain the kidney and remains in place. A urinary catheter is also inserted to drain the bladder and this will remain in place to relieve pressure on the kidney.
  4. When the PCNL surgery is complete, you will be admitted to a nursing unit to be monitored for recovery from the surgery anesthesia.