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Laser Surgery Kidney Stone (PCNL)

You might have heard about the medical condition called ‘Kidney Stones’, but do you know how these stones form in your kidney, or how do you know if you have it or not?

This blog talks about the causes, the symptoms and laser surgery for kidney stones. Wehave also ticked the post-operative care and what factors should you consider when choosing a hospital for kidney stones.

What are Kidney Stones and How are They Formed?

Formed in the urinary tract due to the crystallisation of toxic waste in urine like calcium, oxalates and other chemical compounds, Kidney Stones are a worrisome condition that affects people of all ages and ethnicities across the world.

These stones can be in different shapes, sizes and densities. While the smaller stones (<5mm) often pass naturally with urine without causing any pain, larger stones lodged in the urinary tract can result in severe abdominal pain, urinary infection and other complications.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

You will begin to feel the following symptoms when stones stuck down the ureters and block the flow of urine-

● Pain in the belly, abdomen or back

● Severe pain in the groin area, testicles in men, and labia in women,

● Blood in Urine and unusual urine colour, 

● Chills, Fever, Nausea and Vomiting.

You can manage your kidney stones at home by following these simple steps-

● Increase your fluid intake and stay hydrated; drink at least 12 glasses of water daily

● Take a diet rich in citric acid (eg. lemon) and limit foods rich in oxalates,

● Reduce your salt intake, 

● Take over-the-counter medication for pain.

However, if your pain persists, consult your doctor as you might need to switch to surgical options.

PCNL Surgery for Kidney Stones

PCNL (Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy) is a minimally invasive surgery that uses a tube to remove or break large kidney stones (< 2 cm) by inserting it via a small incision (less than 1/2 inch) into the patient’s flank area.

Depending upon the number and size of stones, the procedure can take 1-3 hours.

Procedural Details

Firstly, cystoscopy is conducted by passing a thin, lightweight telescope through the urinary passage to get a visualisation inside the urethra and bladder. Then a catheter is inserted into the kidney and a contrast dye is injected to envisage the kidney during the PCNL surgery.

PCNL is of 2 types- Supine PCNL, where you have to lie down on the back and tilt a little to the other side; and Prone PCNL, where you have to lie down on the stomach. Depending upon your stones and renal anatomy, your surgeon will decide on a suitable position.


Either way, small incision (s) of 1-1.5 cm will then be made in the back, over the kidney. Guided by x-ray images, a track will be made into the kidney to reach the stone, followed by an endoscope being passed into the kidney to identify and remove the stone. However, if the track is smaller, stones will be broken by laser. 

Once the procedure is done, the surgeon will most likely insert a stent for a day or two to act as a bridge between the kidney and the urethra. This will enable your kidney to heal faster and easily pass small stone pieces frequently.  

Post-Operative Care of the PCNL Surgery

You would be given medication to manage the pain, antibiotics to prevent infection, and something to treat bladder cramps and burning with urination.

If a stent has been inserted, drink a lot of water to grease the stent and encourage small stones to move out of the kidney. Since PCNL is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure, you’ll be able to resume a normal lifestyle the next day per se, but you might experience a more frequent urge to urinate, so you may want to stay close to a bathroom.

Studies show that 50% of people who’ve had kidney stones once are most likely to have them again within the first 5-10 years. Future recurrence can be prevented by sending the extracted stones to the lab to identify the composition of the stone and make dietary and supplemental changes accordingly.

Advantages of PCNL

● PCNL has a higher success rate for removing all stones in a single setting than other options like shock  wave lithotripsy (ESWL) requiring various attempts.

● Since there are no big incisions involved in PCNL, the chances of blood loss and transfusions are very minimal.

● The procedure is associated with other benefits like minimal post-operative pain, faster recovery time, shorter hospital stay, and earlier resumption of daily activities.

Complications of PCNL

Minimally Invasive, yes, but just like any other surgery, PCNL too has a few risks. Some of these are-

● Post-surgery infection including hematoma, drainage from incision site accompanied by fever and urinary discomfort.

● Failure to remove the stones owing to their size and location.

● Possible injury to the surrounding tissue and organs like the bowel, liver, spleen, lungs etc.

If you are wondering how successful is PCNL Laser Surgery for kidney stones and ureteric and bladder stones; it has a success rate of 90- 95%. Despite the abovementioned risks and complications, PCNL is the most effective means of treating stones that cannot be subjected to other measures.

Which is the Best Hospital in Vadodara for Kidney Stones?

If you’ve been looking best kidney hospital in Vadodara, or the best urologist doctor in Vadodara, AMI Hospital tops the list. Equipped with precise and powerful arthroscopes to control and break stones, AMI Hospital ensures that only the latest technology and equipment are used for surgery.

With vast experience and immense knowledge, our doctors and surgical staff adequately present quality treatment to the patients. Additionally, our hassle-free insurance approval mechanism, easy follow-up consultations, and smooth post-operative care ensure that the patient focuses on nothing but getting better.

 For more information about hernia surgery treatment in Vadodara, 

visit our website www.amihospitals.com

Schedule Your Appointment

Dr. Ketul Shah 

MS (Gen Surgery)

Laser Specialist in Kidney Stone and Prostate 


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