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Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is the surgical procedure used to remove kidney stones that are large (over 2 cm), irregularly shaped, and often very painful. PCNL is typically used when the kidney stone does not pass on its own (through urine) or cannot be removed by other procedures such as lithotripsy or uteroscopy. The surgeon makes a small incision in the back, locates the stone with the help of a small camera and then removes it. The surgeon may decide to leave a ureteral stent to help drain the urine and ensure quick healing of the kidneys. These will be removed in a few days. The post op healing may take 1 – 2 weeks depending on your rate of healing. Your doctor may use imaging techniques such as CT, ultrasound, or x-ray to monitor the healing of the kidneys.