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

Updated: Sep 16, 2021
  • Author: Chirag N Dave, MD; Chief Editor: Bradley Fields Schwartz, DO, FACS  more...
  • Print

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 nephrostomExtracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy (ESWL)
  • Ureteroscopy
  • Percutaneous nephrostolithotomy (PCNL) or mini PNCL
  • Open nephrostomy - largely supplanted by less-invasive techniques
  • Anatrophic nephrolithotomy- for large, complex staghorn calculi that cannot be cleared by an acceptable number of PCNLs; currently, typically done via laparoscopic or robotic approach

See Treatment and Medication for more detail.

Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!