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Review
, 51 (4), 899-906; discussion 906

Complications in Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

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Review

Complications in Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy

Maurice Stephan Michel et al. Eur Urol.

Abstract

Objective: This review focuses on a step-by-step approach to percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL) and its complications and management.

Methods: Based on institutional and personal experience with >1000 patients treated by PNL, we reviewed the literature (Pubmed search) focusing on technique, type, and incidence of complications of the procedure.

Results: Complications during or after PNL may be present with an overall complication rate of up to 83%, including extravasation (7.2%), transfusion (11.2-17.5%), and fever (21.0-32.1%), whereas major complications, such as septicaemia (0.3-4.7%) and colonic (0.2-0.8%) or pleural injury (0.0-3.1%) are rare. Comorbidity (i.e., renal insufficiency, diabetes, gross obesity, pulmonary disease) increases the risk of complications. Most complications (i.e., bleeding, extravasation, fever) can be managed conservatively or minimally invasively (i.e., pleural drain, superselective renal embolisation) if recognised early.

Conclusions: The most important consideration for achieving consistently successful outcomes in PNL with minimal major complications is the correct selection of patients. A well-standardised technique and postoperative follow-up are mandatory for early detection of complications.

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