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Drug treatment minor kidney stones

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy

This type of operation is carried out when there are several kidney stones that are difficult to reach, or if they are too large to be treated by shock wave procedures or ureteroscopy.

During percutaneous nephrolithotomy, the doctor makes a small incision (cut) in your back and through into your kidney to reach and then surgically remove the stone(s).

This type of surgery is carried out while you are asleep under a general anaesthetic. You will need to stay in the hospital until you can empty your bladder sufficiently and your pain is well-controlled.

After the procedure there may be a need to place a stent (a small plastic tube to help the flow of urine) in the urinary system and/or a thin tube from your kidney and out through the skin of your back, to collect urine into a drainage bag. These would only be temporary and would be removed by your doctor a few days after the procedure.

This animation shows what happens when you undergo percutaneous nephrolithotomy.