Percutaneous Nephrostolithotomy or Nephrolithotomy (PCNL)

For Patients

If you suspect you have stones, visit your primary care provider or urologist.

If you've been diagnosed with stones and would like to be seen in the Metabolic Stone Clinic, please call (608) 263-4757.

UW Health urologists perform percutaneous nephrostolithotomy or nephrolithotomy (PCNL) to remove kidney stones.
This approach is an alternative to a ureteroscopy. With a PCNL procedure, the urologist makes a one-centimeter incision in the back or side of the abdomen. A nephroscope is passed through the incision to the stone location.
With this scope, small stones can be manually extracted. If, however, the stones are large, they may need to be broken up with ultrasonic, electrohydraulic or laser-tipped probes before they can be extracted (known as PCNL with laser lithotripsy). A tube may be inserted into the kidney for drainage.

Percutaneous nephrolithotomy