What is PCNL?
Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) is a procedure used to remove kidney stones from the body when they can’t pass on their own , A thin scope is inserted inside through your back towards your kidneys to remove your stones which can other wise not be removed naturally or with procedures such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy or uroscopy, are unsuccessful or not possible. This surgery is minimally invasive and relatively a safe way to treat kidney stones that surpass the size or weight which would be permitted to be treated with other methods.
What are the reasons PCNL is done ?
Large kidney stones are blocking more than one branch of the collecting system of the kidney (known as staghorn kidney stones)
• Kidney stones are larger than 0.8 inch (2 centimeters) in diameter
• Large stones are in the ureter
• Other therapies have not been successful
What are the risks of PCNL?
The most common risks from percutaneous nephrolithotomy include the following:
• Injuries to the kidney or other organs
• Incomplete stone removal
• Treatment failure
• Allergic reaction to local or General anesthesia
How to prepare for PCNL?
It is a relatively safe procedure however there are certain things you need to do before you can opt for it
The first step is setting up a meeting with your doctor and preparing a list of information for him which are but not limited to:
1. List of all pervious medical surgeries : in some cases some medical procerus might not be complete so it is a must to make a list on your own and writing down every medical procedure you have had in the past. It enables your doctor to give you a better risk assessment or perhaps introduce a alternative technique for to help solve your medical problem
2. All medications : all the medications you are on and all the ones you’ve been on , certain medications might interfere with your procedure and you need to make it through and clear to avoid any unnecessary risk or event.
It is a rather simple procedure but since you might be under General anesthesia which means you will be asleep though out the whole procedure and won’t feel a thing but it also means you will need some one to take you home once you’ve been discharged. The surgery normally takes anu where from 2-4 hours but this may change from case to case basis.
For the first 5 days it is best if physical movement be limited as much as possible and for the first 2 weeks all heavy lifting and activities that might put strain on your body must be avoided.
You can go back to work if you’re job dose not require much physical activity but sports and trips are to be avoided.