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
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.
other abdominal organs, such as the
Damage that affects normal kidney
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
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.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine Brian D. O'Brien, MD - Internal Medicine Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerTushar J. Vachharajani, MD, FASN, FACP - Nephrology