Percutaneous Nephrolithotripsy (PCNL)
Percutaneous Nephrolithotripsy (PCNL or PNL) refers to a minimally invasive endoscopic treatment that is used for removing staghorn stones, large kidney stones or multiple stones in the upper ureter.
In this procedure, a puncture is created in the skin through the kidney to the stone and a telescopic port is inserted, without any big incision required. A telescope known as a nephroscope is passed through this port into the kidney to disintegrate the stone and break it into pieces, to remove the debris from the stone. PCNL or PNL is performed under general anaesthesia and real-time X-ray control called fluoroscopy. The surgery may last for 1 or 2 hours.
Prominent advantages of PNL or PCNL include:
- Eliminating the large skin incision caused by pervious kidney surgery for stones
- Removal of all fragments removed during surgery
- Faster recovery and healing as compared to other procedures
- Shorter hospital stay – 2 or 3 days
Percutaneous stone surgery may also be recommended in certain conditions where the ureter below one of the kidneys is obstructed, or in ureteropelvic junction obstructions.