This needle tract is dilated to approximately 1-cm to allow placement of a plastic sheath and telescope to directly visualize the stone. Using an ultrasonic, mechanical or laser lithotripsy device, the stone is fragmented into small pieces and extracted out of the body through the sheath. On occasions, more than one tract may be required to access and attempts removal of all stones.
A small ureteral stent may be left draining the kidney to the bladder in addition to a nephrostomy tube draining the kidney to an external drainage bag at the end of the operation. The length of the surgery is generally hours.
As with any surgical procedure there are risks and potential complications that are associated with PCNL. Although rare, potential risks include:. Following your surgery you will be transferred to the recovery room and then to your hospital room once you are fully awake. Although adverse events are rare following PCNL, it is important for patients to recognize these events and know when to contact their surgeon.
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