Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to remove large kidney stones that cannot be treated with non-surgical methods such as medication or shock wave lithotripsy. PCNL has become one of the standard treatment options for patients with complex or sizable kidney stones, offering a highly effective and safe approach to stone removal.
During PCNL surgery, the patient is placed under general anesthesia. The surgeon makes a small incision on the patient’s back, creating a tract that leads directly into the kidney.
A hollow tube called a nephroscope is inserted through the incision and guided into the kidney. The nephroscope allows the surgeon to visualize the stone and surrounding structures. To facilitate stone removal, various instruments, such as laser fiber or ultrasonic probes, are passed through the nephroscope. These instruments help to break the stone into smaller fragments, which can then be suctioned out or removed with grasping tools.
Advantages of PCNL surgery
One of the advantages of PCNL surgery is its ability to effectively treat larger kidney stones. Unlike non-surgical methods, PCNL allows for the removal of stones that are several centimeters in size. Additionally, PCNL can target stones located in any part of the kidney, including the renal pelvis, calyces, or upper ureter.
PCNL is generally considered safe
Although PCNL is generally considered safe, like any surgical procedure, it does carry some risks. Potential complications can include bleeding, infection, injury to surrounding organs, and post-operative pain. However, these risks are typically low in the hands of experienced surgeons who specialize in PCNL procedures.
After PCNL surgery
Patients typically stay in the hospital for a few days to monitor their recovery and manage any discomfort. They may experience some blood in the urine, mild pain, or discomfort in the back or flank region, which can be managed with pain medication. Most patients can resume their normal activities within a few weeks, although strenuous activities should be avoided during the initial recovery period.
PCNL surgery is a highly effective and safe procedure for the removal of large and complex kidney stones. By offering a minimally invasive approach, PCNL provides patients with a viable treatment option that results in high stone-free rates and improved quality of life. It is important to consult with a urologist to determine if PCNL is the appropriate treatment option based on the individual’s specific condition and stone characteristics. With the expertise of skilled surgeons and continued advancements in technology, PCNL continues to play a crucial role in the management of kidney stones.
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Hajela Hospital and research Centre, Bhopal, M.P. was established on 14.01.1995. We have been providing expert care and treatment for more than 28 years.