Kidney & Ureteral Stones

General Info

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) provides patients with a safe and effective way to remove kidney stones using a minimally invasive technique. Kidney stones are formed in the urinary tract due to crystallization of chemical compounds in the urine. PCNL is a technique used to remove certain stones in the kidney or upper ureter.

This procedure has been used on many patients for the past 20 years, replacing the need for open surgery to remove kidney stones in a majority of patients. It has been accepted as a safe and reliable technique. Typically, the length of the surgery is 3-4 hours. The surgery is performed by making one or two small ½ inch incisions in the back flank area. A tube is placed through the incision into the kidney under x-ray guidance. A small telescope is passed through the tube to see the stone and remove it. If necessary a laser or other device called a lithotripter may be used to break the stone into small pieces to ease in the removal. This procedure has resulted in significantly less post-operative pain, a shorter hospital stay, and an earlier return to work and daily activities when compared to the open operation.