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.
Not broken up by extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).
How Well It Works
These procedures work for most people with stones in the kidney or ureter.
Risks of this procedure include:
Holes (perforation) in the kidney. They usually heal without further treatment.
Injury to other abdominal organs, such as the bladder or colon.
Damage that affects normal kidney function.
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 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.
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.