Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy or Nephrolithotripsy for Kidney Stones
In percutaneous nephrolithotomy or
nephrolithotripsy, the surgeon makes a small incision in your back to remove
kidney stones. He or she then puts a hollow tube into
your kidney and a probe through the tube. In nephrolithotomy, the surgeon
removes the stone through the tube. In nephrolithotripsy, he or she breaks the
stone up and then removes the fragments of the stone through the tube.
Often there are no symptoms of a kidney stone until it starts to move and blocks the flow of urine.
When this happens, symptoms may include:
Waves of sharp pain in your back and side or lower abdomen. The pain may move toward the groin or testicles.
Inability to find a comfortable position. People with kidney stones often pace the floor.
Nausea and vomiting with ongoing flank pain
Blood in the urine
The frequent urge to urinate
Sometimes an infection is also present, and may...
Not broken up by extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy
How Well It Works
Percutaneous nephrolithotomy or
nephrolithotripsy successfully removes stones in the kidney about 95 times out
of 100 and successfully removes stones in the
ureter about 88 times out of 100.1
Risks of this procedure include:
Holes (perforation) in
the kidney. They usually heal without further treatment.
other abdominal organs, such as the
Damage that affects normal kidney
What To Think About
A stone that has left the kidney may need to be pushed
back into the kidney with a small tool (ureteroscope) before the surgeon can do
These procedures are used more frequently than
extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) to remove larger stones, such as
staghorn calculi. Every fragment of a staghorn calculus must be removed to
prevent the stone from returning.