Percutaneous nephrolithotomy in super obese patients (body mass index >/= 50 kg/m ): overcoming the challenges
OBJECTIVE: To analyse our experience with and the outcomes and lessons learned from percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) in the super obese (body mass index [BMI] >/=50 kg/m2 ). PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this institutional review board approved study we retrospectively reviewed our PCNL database between July 2011 and September 2014 and identified all patients with a BMI >/= 50 kg/m2 . Patient demographics, peri-operative outcomes and complications were determined. Additionally, we identified a number of special PCNL considerations in the super obese that can maximize safe outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 21 PCNL procedures performed on 17 super obese patients were identified. The mean patient age was 54.8 years, the mean BMI was 57.2 kg/m2 and the mean stone area was 1 037 mm2 . Full staghorn stones were observed in six patients and partial staghorns in four patients. The mean operating time was 106 min and the mean haemoglobin decrease was 1.2 g/dL. The overall stone-free rate was 87%. There were four total complications: two Clavien grade II, one Clavien IIIb and one Clavien IVb. We identified several special considerations for safely preforming PCNL in the suber obese, including using extra-long nephroscopes and graspers, using custom-cut extra long access sheaths with suture 'tails' secured to easily retrieve the sheath, choosing the shortest possible access tract, readily employing flexible nephroscopes, placing nephroureteral tubes rather than nephrostomy tubes postoperatively, and meticulous patient positioning and padding. CONCLUSION: With appropriate peri-operative considerations and planning, PCNL is feasible and safe in the super obese. Stone clearance was similar to that reported in previous PCNL series in the morbidly obese, and is achievable with few complications.
School of Medicine
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