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Percutaneous management of upper tract stones: from mini to maxi percutaneous nephrolithotomy.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) continues as the gold standard for the surgical management of large renal stones. This short review is intended to highlight recent publications on PCNL of all tract sizes, from mini to standard.

RECENT FINDINGS: Literature on PCNL in the last 2 years has focused on several main themes - decreasing complications, improving postoperative pain control, and new technology to improve outcomes. Mini-PCNL continues to prove effective and safe, with a new vacuum sheath showing promise of improving stone-free rates and decreasing infections. In terms of infections, preoperative midstream urine culture continues to be a poor indicator of postoperative infection. One of the biggest changes to PCNL practice is the reintroduction of tranexamic acid, which has shown to significantly decrease bleeding and improve outcomes. In terms of postoperative pain control, local blocks are effective and low risk.

SUMMARY: There are many options for surgeons when it comes to PCNL from sheath size to pain management to preoperative medication to decrease bleeding. Future research will continue to highlight, which advances are the most beneficial.

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