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What are the risks and recovery times for kidney stone surgery?

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Quick Answer

After open kidney stone surgery, patients stay in the hospital between six and nine days, but full recovery takes four to six weeks. Risks include infection, severe bleeding, susceptibility to hernia and the normal risks connected to anesthesia, notes WebMD. The kidney may also suffer from significant damage, resulting in removal of the kidney.

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Full Answer

Kidney stone surgery is one of the rarest treatments for these calcified growths, states WebMD. However, if nonsurgical treatments such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, ureteroscopy and percutaneous nephrolithotripsy do not work, or if the patient has large stones stemming from an infection or an anomaly in the urinary system that influences flow in the bladder, ureters or kidneys, surgery may be the only option left to treat the condition.

One benefit of open surgery is that, depending on the location of the stone, it is possible to remove the entire stone, according to WebMD. However, the risks of the surgery are significant, and the recovery time is much longer than that for nonsurgical treatments. While recovering at home, patients suffering from vomiting, nausea, fever, sudden onset of pain and signs of infection such as redness and swelling near the incision, should get in touch with their surgeon right away.

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