PCNL is a minimally invasive technique to access the kidney to remove large stones (>2cm) or stones that are resistant to other treatments. The procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic. Usually the patient is placed face down and a needle is inserted into the kidney under imaging guidance (ultrasound or Xray). A guidewire is then inserted and a track dilated into the kidney. A nephroscope (telescope) is inserted into the kidney via this track and the stone is broken up and extracted.
This video demonstrates the steps involved.
This is a minimally invasive technique to remove larger stones from the kidney.