Percutaneous nephrolithotomy is recommended most often in the following situations:
- Large kidney stones are blocking more than one branch of the collecting system of the kidney, also known as staghorn kidney stones
- Kidney stones are larger than 0.4 to 0.6 inch (1 to 1.5 centimeter) in diameter
- Large stones are in the ureter
- Other therapies have failed
- The person is obese
Before you undergo percutaneous nephrolithotomy, your doctor will perform several tests, including checking your urine for signs of infection or other problems, blood tests and computerized tomography (CT) to determine where the stones are in your kidney.