What is the role of surgery in the treatment of nephrolithiasis?

Updated: Jun 21, 2018
  • Author: Chirag N Dave, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
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Stones that are 7 mm and larger are unlikely to pass spontaneously and require some type of surgical procedure, such as the following:

  • Stent placement

  • Percutaneous nephrostomy

  • Extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL)

  • Ureteroscopy

  • Percutaneous nephrostolithotomy (PCNL) or mini PNCL

  • Open nephrostomy- more historical

  • Anatrophic nephrolithotomy- for large complex stag horn calculi that cannot be cleared by an acceptable number of PCNLs. Typically now done via laparoscopic or robotic approach

See Treatment and Medication for more detail.

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