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J Endourol. 2001 Sep;15(7):711-3.

Tubeless percutaneous nephrolithotomy in selected patients.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Chiengmai University, Thailand.



Placement of the nephrostomy tube is the last step after completion of percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL). We were able to demonstrate in selected patients who had undergone PCNL that the use of an externalized ureteral catheter can reduce postoperative discomfort without complications.


A total of 37 patients underwent tubeless PCNL with an externalized 6F ureteral catheter for 48 hours. Inclusion criteria were use of a single access site where the renal unit was not obstructive, no significant perforation and bleeding, and no need for a second look. The stone burden was not taken into account.


The procedure was performed successfully without major complications. The average length of hospitalization was 3.63 days: 25 patients stayed for 4 days, with the final day reserved for observation after removal of the catheter. The remaining 12 patients stayed only 3 days and could be discharged on the day the catheter was removed. The average intramuscular analgesic requirement was 38.57 mg of meperidine, and none of the patients needed a blood transfusion or required the emergency placement of a nephrostomy tube.


In properly selected patients, tubeless PCNL with only an externalized ureteral catheter was found to be safe and just as economical as tubeless PCNL with the same outcome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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