PCNL (Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy)

Services & Treatments – Kidney Stone Treatment in Bangalore

Treatment is provided for disorders like kidney stones, kidney failure, bladder stones, diseases of the prostate gland, male infertility, erectile dysfunction and urinary incontinence and more…

PCNL (Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy)

The removal of stones that are either too big, too widespread, or too solid to be addressed by either ESWL or ureteroscopy requires the minimally invasive method known as Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy. In order to access and remove the kidney stone using this method, our highly-qualified & experienced surgeons at Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka will make only small incisions during PCNL, leading to quicker recovery and minimal risks.

The PCNL procedure is known for eliminating all stones in a single setting. In comparison to ESWL, it is reported to cause less blood loss and has minimal consequences.

Supine PCNL has a number of possible benefits over the prone position, where patients may be at risk for respiratory and cardiorespiratory problems. The enhanced adaptability of stone manipulation enables surgeons to treat all stone sizes, making this treatment especially advantageous for patients who are at high risk while under anaesthesia. This operation is a blessing for those who are excessively obese since it eliminates any pain.

How is PCNL Performed at Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka?

Before PCNL takes place, the steps of going under the surgery are divided into three major parts:

Before the Surgery

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy is often carried out in a hospital under general anaesthesia. You won’t be conscious during the procedure and will not experience any discomfort if you choose general anaesthesia.

Sometimes, the Radiology Department handles the initial step of the treatment. They might inject local anaesthesia—a medicine that just makes a small portion of your body numb, where our surgeons will operate.

During the Surgery

After you have been given anaesthesia, the surgeon will insert a needle into the urine-collecting chamber of the kidney, which becomes the path for performing the rest of the surgery. X Rays, CT scans, or ultrasound images are used to guide the needle placement. This process happens in our Operation Theatres, fully equipped with modern technology & advanced tools.

The doctor may pass a tube called a catheter through your ureter (a tube connecting the kidney to the bladder), bladder, and urethra (the tube from where the urine exits the body) in the kidney. This is done by putting a tracing substance to outline the kidney structure, so it is spotted during the imaging. The surgeon might also insert a camera through the tube to help them see the needle placement and other surgical procedures.

The surgeon puts a sheath along the path of the needle, and with a specialised instrument, the kidney stones are broken into pieces.

After this, a different tube called a nephrostomy tube will be inserted to drain the urine from the kidney and let it out in a plastic bag attached outside. This tube also allows the extraction of the remaining kidney stones during recovery. The kidney stones are then sent for lab testing to examine what caused the stones so that better precautions can be taken in future. The entire procedure usually takes 3-4 hours.

After the Surgery

Once you are out of the OT, you might need to stay at the hospital for 2-3 days. After the surgery, you might feel brief nausea, which can be treated by medicines.

Here are a few tips on what to do after the surgery:

Follow a Healthy Diet: During the initial days of the post-surgery, the doctors will recommend you a liquid diet, which might gradually change to solid after a few weeks. Also, intravenous fluid will be given to keep you hydrated.

Workouts: It is better to avoid vigorous exercises, such as weight lifting, running, etc., in the initial days. Instead, you can take short walks under the doctor’s guidance.

Post-Op Complications: If you face any postoperative complication, such as thickened blood or excess bleeding, it is advisable to visit the Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka and consult the physicians for an immediate checkup.

In addition to these, it is highly advisable to recover properly before going back to work. Sitting for a long time at work might give rise to new complications.

What are the Benefits of PCNL?

Apart from removing all the stores in one session, the following are the benefits of PCNL:

  • Improves the urine flow.
  • The imaging system helps in analysing the correct size of the kidney stone.
  • Prevents damage to the kidney or the urinary tract.
  • Relieves pain because of the kidney stone.

What are the Risks Involved with PCNL?

Though the benefits of PCNL are quite huge, the risks are definitely involved in the surgery. A few risks involved are mentioned below:


This procedure will result in some blood loss, but patients rarely need blood transfusions.

Tissue or Organ Injury

The surgery can cause possible damage to the tissue or organs such as the liver, spleen, bowel, lung, pancreas, gallbladder, and other surrounding areas of operation. There is also a risk of potential kidney damage. Sometimes, there is a chance of scar tissue formation in the kidney that requires further surgery.


During the surgery, the doctors at Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka administer the patients with broad-spectrum antibiotics to decrease the chances of infection. However, if there is any sign of infection, contact us at Apollo Hospitals, Karnataka at the earliest.

Might Be Switched to Open Surgery

Due to some complications, this minimally invasive surgery could be switched to open surgery if the surgeon deems it necessary.

Why is PCNL Done?

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy is recommended when:

  • Kidney stones are larger than 0.8 mm.
  • The collecting system of the kidney is blocked due to large kidney stones, also known as staghorn kidney stones.
  • Other therapies have failed to cure the stones.
  • Large kidney in the ureter connecting the kidney to the bladder.

Doctors at Apollo Hospital recommend drinking lots of water to flush out the blood through urination, as we believe in taking proper care even after your surgery. Following the guidelines before, during, and after the procedure will help you recover better.

Visit us now to consult board-certified kidney doctors with years of experience in treating kidney problems.

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