Percutaneous nephrolithotomy for ectopic kidneys: Over, around, or through

Brian R. Matlaga, Samuel C. Kim, Stephanie L. Watkins, Ramsay L. Kuo, Larry C. Munch, James E. Lingeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Objectives. The treatment of patients with complex urolithiasis in ectopic kidneys can be challenging. Because the location of an ectopic kidney can vary, each case requires a unique and, at times, unconventional approach. We reviewed the techniques we have developed to treat such patients, including laparoscopic-assisted tubeless, transhepatic, and transiliac percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL). Methods. We performed a retrospective analysis of all patients with congenital pelvic kidneys who underwent PNL at our institution. Six patients underwent laparoscopic-assisted PNL, one underwent transiliac PNL, and one underwent transhepatic PNL. All laparoscopic-assisted procedures were performed tubeless, with an internalized ureteral stent placed at the conclusion of the procedure. Results. All patients underwent successful PNL. On computed tomography, performed on the morning of postoperative day 1, all patients who underwent laparoscopic-assisted PNL were stone free. The patients who underwent transiliac PNL and transhepatic PNL required secondary procedures to attain a stone-free status. The mean length of hospitalization was 3 days for the laparoscopic-assisted cohort, 1 day for the transhepatic patient, and 3 days for the transiliac patient. Conclusions. For the patient with a large or complex stone burden in an ectopic kidney, laparoscopic-assisted PNL is the optimal treatment. Performing such a procedure tubeless may be associated with a reduced hospital stay. For those patients with a hostile peritoneal cavity owing to prior surgical exploration, consideration should be given to a more individualized approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-517
Number of pages5
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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