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PCNL - What to Expect After the Procedure

We advise patients on the following:

  • You will usually have a catheter in the bladder until the following day.
  • A CT scan may be performed ffollowing your surgery to ensure that all fragments of the kidney stone have been removed. You will likely have a chest scan performed at this time as well. The physician will review the scan and the results of your surgery with you prior to discharge.
  • You may see blood in the urine and it may last several days to weeks.
  • You may have a ureteral stent that was placed during your procedure. The stent will stay in for several days to one week depending on your situation. Some patients may need a cystoscopy to remove the stent, which can be performed in the physician’s office.
  • You will be given prescriptions that may include antibiotics (typically 24 hours), pain medications, and stool softeners.
  • You will be given instructions as to when you should follow up with your physician
  • Most patients return to work/full activity within 2 weeks.

How Will I Feel After Surgery?

While minimally invasive, PCNL is still major surgery and it will take you several days to start feeling better. Your physician will provide you with written instructions on what to expect after surgery and how to take care of yourself. It's also important know you must drink plenty of fluids to help flush out the blood. During recovery, you may have a mild burning sensation when you urinate that usually lasts several days following surgery (usually Tylenol will help with this discomfort), but you will also have a prescription for narcotic pain medication for severe pain, as needed.

In most cases, you can return to work several days after the procedure, but you will be advised to take it easy as you continue to recover over the next several days to weeks at home. It's important to report any abnormal pain, fever, chills, and bleeding to your physician immediately as this may be a sign of infection.