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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.
See a picture of nephrolithotomy.
You will be in the hospital for at least 2 to 3 days. Most people are able to return to work within a few weeks.
This procedure may be used to treat kidney stones that are:
These procedures work for most people with stones in the kidney or ureter.
Risks of this procedure include:
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 the procedure.
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.
Last Revised: May 2, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
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