Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PCNL) Post-Operative Instructions

What to Expect

  • You will spend at least 2 days in the hospital following your surgery.
  • You will have a nephrostomy tube to drain the urine from your kidney which will usually be removed before leaving the hospital.
  • You may have a urinary catheter draining your bladder for the first 24 hours.
  • You may have a ureteral stent to optimize drainage of urine from the kidney and speed the healing process. This is usually removed within 2-4 weeks after surgery in the doctor’s office.


  • You may shower at home, but no tub baths for the first 2 weeks.
  • No driving for 2 weeks.
  • No lifting greater than 10 lbs. for 2 weeks.
  • Avoid prolonged sitting or lying in bed. Take daily moderate walks.

Diet and Medications

  • Talk with your doctor before resuming your usual medications
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Normal diet.

Call Our Office if:

  • Fever greater than 101.5 F
  • Increasing pain despite pain medication.
  • Chills, vomiting.
  • Heavy bleeding or clots in urine.
  • Purulent drainage around insertion site of nephrostomy tube.
  • Pain, burning or difficulty with urination.
  • Persistent drainage from nephrostomy tube site after one week.

West Coast Urology
Lawrence R. Paletz, MD
Ernest H. Agatstein, MD FACS
Shahrad Aynehchi, MD FACS
Sepehr Nowfar, MD, MPH

Inglewood (310) 673-3333     Downey (562) 923-0706     Los Alamitos (562) 449-4183