What is a percutaneous nephrolithotomy?

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is a procedure to remove problem kidney stones that are too large to pass on their own. Typically this procedure is used when other methods are unsuccessful or not possible.

Why would someone need a percutaneous nephrolithotomy?

Most kidney stones don't require surgical intervention and removal. However, when kidney stones don't pass on their own, they can be extremely painful. Additionally, some stones are not resolved through other methods like extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. In such cases, your doctor may recommend a percutaneous nephrolithotomy.

Reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional.

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