Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)


Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is a process that helps remove kidney stones from your body when they are unable to pass on their own. 

In this procedure, a scope will be inserted by creating a small incision in your back to eliminate the kidney stone.

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is generally performed if the kidney stones are large or when other procedures like ureteroscopy or extracorporeal shock are not possible or fail.

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What is the Pre treatment care to be taken ?


Under local anesthesia, certain tests will be performed for taking guidance of kidney access during the procedure. These tests include all or any of them,

  • Ultrasound

  • X-ray

  • CT scan

Alternatively, your surgeon might prefer to access your kidney while you are under general anesthesia in the operating room. 

In this case, the surgeon will insert a tube into your bladder and use the imaging test results to eliminate the kidney stone. If the stones are huge then more than one puncture may be needed.

What is Treatment Procedure for Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy ?


  • The radiologist and urologist will work together to palace the hollow tube into the kidney part. This is done under general anesthesia while you are asleep. 

  • After getting the best access to the kidney stones, they will be removed either directly or by breaking them into smaller fragments.

  • A temporary tube of plastic is placed at the end of the procedure.  One tube is the "nephrostomy tube," which will exit out of the tiny incision made in your back. Another tube is known as a "stent" that is placed internally. The tube is decided by your urologists based on various factors.

  • A plastic catheter is also inserted into the urethra. Post your surgery you will be shifted to the recovery room for approximately two hours.

What are the Post Treatment care for Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy ?


Your hospital stay will be about one or two days after the surgery. 

You will be asked to avoid pushing or pulling, lifting heavy weights for two to four weeks after the surgery. You might be able to resume your work after a week. 

In case your doctor has placed drainage tubes in your kidney after the surgery, then you must take care and observe if any bleeding is there. 

Urine and blood tests, X-ray tests will be done to determine any emergency. 

If you are having severe pain, then pain medications will be given to control and reduce it.

After four to six weeks there will be a follow-up appointment to observe your condition post-surgery. 

At that time X-ray or ultrasound might be used to check urine drainage and if any kidney stones are left.

Additional tests may be conducted to determine the exact cause of your condition. For future prevention of kidney stones, some instructions will be given to you.

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