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Open Nephrolithotomy


Open nephrolithotomy is surgery to open your kidney to remove kidney stones.



  • Medicines may be given to help decrease pain and prevent or treat an infection. You may also be given medicine to prevent more kidney stones from forming.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or urologist as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Wound care:

Care for your wound as directed. You may need to carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty. Always check your drain when you change your bandages. Do not pull on your drain. Ask for more information about drain care.

Bladder care:

  • You may need to insert a catheter. You may need to learn how to insert a catheter if you cannot urinate on your own. A catheter is a soft tube that you put into your urethra to drain your urine. You may also need to do a bladder irrigation. This is when medicines or special solutions are put inside your bladder through your catheter.
  • Set regular times each day to urinate. Do not let your bladder become too full before you empty it. Urinate as soon as you feel the need. Ask if you need to strain your urine to look for any pieces of kidney stones.


  • Rest. You may feel like resting more after your surgery. Slowly start to do more each day. Rest when you feel it is needed.
  • Drink plenty of liquids. You may be asked to drink 13 to 17 cups of liquids each day. Limit the amount of caffeine you drink. Caffeine may be found in coffee, tea, soda, and sports drinks. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
  • Ask if you need to make changes in the foods you eat. You may need to limit certain foods. You may need to limit nuts, chocolate, coffee, and certain green leafy vegetables. You may also need to limit meat and salt.

Contact your healthcare provider or urologist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have chills, a cough, or feel weak and achy.
  • You have dizziness, nausea, or vomiting.
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You feel lightheaded, short of breath, and have chest pain.
  • You cough up blood.
  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • You have pain in your abdomen, side, or genital area that does not go away or gets worse.
  • You have problems passing urine or having a bowel movement.
  • You have pus or a bad odor coming from your incision.
  • Your symptoms become worse or come back.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.