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How is a percutaneous nephrolithotomy or percutaneous nephrolithotripsy done to treat kidney stones?

ANSWER

The surgery can be done in one of two ways:

Nephrolithotomy: Your surgeon removes the kidney stone through a tube.

Nephrolithotripsy: Your surgeon uses sound waves or a laser to break up the stone and then vacuums up the pieces with a suction machine.

The surgery takes 20-45 minutes. You'll typically have to stay in the hospital for a day or two afterward. Usually, a stent will have to stay in your kidney for a few days to help urine drain.

Your doctor might do an X-ray or ultrasound a few weeks later to see whether any parts of the stone are left. She might also send the stone fragments to a lab to find out what they're made of.

SOURCES:

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Lithotripsy."

Mayo Clinic: "Kidney stones treatments and drugs." "Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: What you can expect."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Treatment for Kidney Stones in Adults."

National Kidney Foundation: "Kidney Stone Treatment: Shock Wave Lithotripsy." "Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy/Nephrolithotripsy."

NYU Langone Medical Center: "Surgery for Kidney Stones."

UC San Diego Health: "Ureteroscopy."

Urology Care Foundation: "How are kidney stones treated?" "What are Kidney Stones?"

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on December 21, 2018

SOURCES:

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Lithotripsy."

Mayo Clinic: "Kidney stones treatments and drugs." "Percutaneous nephrolithotomy: What you can expect."

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Treatment for Kidney Stones in Adults."

National Kidney Foundation: "Kidney Stone Treatment: Shock Wave Lithotripsy." "Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy/Nephrolithotripsy."

NYU Langone Medical Center: "Surgery for Kidney Stones."

UC San Diego Health: "Ureteroscopy."

Urology Care Foundation: "How are kidney stones treated?" "What are Kidney Stones?"

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on December 21, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What are the risks from a percutaneous nephrolithotomy or percutaneous nephrolithotripsy for kidney stones?

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