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What can I expect during PCNL surgery to remove kidney stones?

This is what you can expect during percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) surgery to remove kidney stones:
  1. General anesthesia. You'll have medication so you sleep through the surgery and have no sensation or memory of it.
  2. Inserting a tube. Your doctor will make a small incision (cut) in your back and insert a small tube called a nephroscope. Using x-ray guidance, your doctor will put the tube directly into the kidney.
  3. Removing the stone. Using laser or ultrasound, your doctor will break the stone into small pieces. The pieces will be removed through the tube.
  4. Inserting a stent. In some cases, a ureteral stent will be inserted during the surgery.
  5. Short hospital stay. In most cases, you'll need to stay in the hospital for a day or two. A tube will be left in the kidney -- the tube runs directly out the skin to your back or side. The tube will drain the kidney until the urine clears and the swelling goes down.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.