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Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) (Kidney Stone Removal)

    About the Treatment

    Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy is used for breaking large kidney stones into smaller fragments, which can then be flushed out through the patient's urine. Removal of the kidney stone becomes imperative, as the stone starts interfering with the function of the kidney and causes excessive pain and discomfort while urinating.

  • The patient has to undergo an extensive radiological investigation to determine the location, size and quantity of stones present in her/his kidney.
  • Use of blood-thinning medication is stopped several days before the procedure.
  • The patient may be prescribed laxatives before the procedure.
  • The patient should be empty stomach before the procedure.
  • An Electrocardiogram is also done to study the heart condition of the patient prior to the procedure.

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy is done under general anaesthesia and may take up to 2-4 hours. The surgeon makes an incision at the back of the patient's body and inserts a tube into the kidney. Very large stones are broken into smaller pieces before being drained from the kidney via the tube. X-ray imaging is used to determine the location and size of the stone.

  • The patient is discharged 2-3 days after the procedure.
  • The patient is advised to increase her/his intake of water and reduce her/his intake of food high in proteins and salt content.
  • The recovery time of a patient may wary from a week to more than a month, based on the pre and post procedure health conditions and complications.
  • X-rays and ultrasounds are also done to ensure no parts of the kidney stones are left behind.

Specialized healthcare provisions and experienced doctors, minimize the risks and complications associated with the procedure. However, a patient should be aware of all possible risks and complications, before undergoing the procedure:

  • Adverse reaction to anaesthesia during the procedure.
  • Post procedure infections, septicaemia.
  • Adverse effects on the functioning of the kidney
  • Post-procedure bleeding.
  • Small remnants of the stone blocking the flow of urine.

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