Urologists at HCM City’s Medical University have successfully performed a percutaneous nephrolithotomy operation to remove a staghorn, or giant, kidney stone from a 59-year-old patient. (Photo: courtesy of the Medical University)

HCM City (VNA) - Doctors at HCM City’s Medical University have successfully performed surgery to remove a giant kidney stone from a 59-year-old woman.

Vo Thi S of HCM City had a staghorn stone measuring 74mm by 48mm in her left kidney, the largest the hospital has ever removed, Nguyen Hoang Duc, head of the urology department, said.

It was a complicated and rare case since the stone occupied the entire kidney, Duc said, explaining that untreated staghorn stones could destroy the kidney and cause a life-threatening infection.

Nearly 98 percent of the stone was broken and removed through four procedures.

The most effective treatment for staghorn kidney stones is percutaneous nephrolithotomy surgery, but it can be performed at very few hospitals without a urology department, according to Duc.

Five years ago the woman was diagnosed with the staghorn stone but refused to undergo surgery to remove it for fear of pain and complications. Ten years ago she had had normal-sized stones that were removed surgically.

Doctors at the hospital perform thousands of percutaneous nephrolithotomy operations for kidney stones every year, though less than a dozen are for staghorn stones, Duc added.-VNA