Percutaneous nephrolithotomy, or PCNL, is a procedure for removing medium-sized or larger renal calculi (kidney stones) from the patient's urinary tract by means of an nephroscope passed into the kidney through a track created in the patient's back. Unlike traditional open surgery, only an incision of 1 cm is made in the flank. The stones can be visualized directly and removed. The stay in the hospital is only for 3-4 days. This surgery would be recommended as a treatment of choice if you have kidney stones larger than 2 cm, upper ureteric stones bigger than 1 cm, or at times for stones found in the lower pole of the kidney that cannot be effectively treated with either ureteroscopy or ESWL. When done by experienced Urologist the success rate of clearance of stones through this method hovers between 90 – 95%.
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