Skip to Content

Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy


Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is surgery to remove kidney stones using a scope.



  • Medicines may be given to help decrease pain and prevent or treat an infection. You may also be given medicine to help pass stone pieces or 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. You may have thin strips of surgical tape on your incision. Keep them clean and dry. They will fall off by themselves after several days. Do not pull them off.


  • 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. This helps flush any remaining small pieces of stone. Fluids can also help prevent stones from forming again. 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.
  • Apply heat on your lower back for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed. Heat helps decrease pain and soreness.
  • Strain your urine every time you go to the bathroom. Urinate through a strainer or a piece of thin cloth to catch the stone pieces. Take the pieces to your healthcare providers so they can be sent to the lab for tests. This will help your healthcare provider or urologist plan the best treatment for you.
    Look for Stones in the Filter
  • 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 cannot urinate.
  • 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.
  • You urinate bright red blood.
  • You have trouble thinking clearly.
  • You have severe vomiting.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

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.