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How can PCNL patients lower their kidney stone risk with food and lifestyle?

It is common for individuals who have experienced percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) to want to know how they can reduce the risk of developing future kidney stones. If you’ve had PCNL or are concerned about kidney stone recurrence, you may be surprised to learn that diet and lifestyle changes can play a significant role. Making some simple nutritional and exercise modifications can help to reduce the risk of developing new or recurrent stones.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

For PCNL (Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy) patients wishing to lower their risk of kidney stones, it’s essential to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day – at least two liters per day. Staying hydrated helps to flush out the system, and is crucial for a successful PCNL for kidney stones procedure. Drinking more water also helps to increase the amount of uric acid excreted in the urine, which can help prevent the formation of kidney stones. Additionally, some fluids are even more beneficial than plain water, like herbal teas, cranberry juice, and vegetable juices. All of these can help to lower the risk of kidney stones caused by PCNL.

Avoid Foods High in Oxalates

As a patient with PCNL (Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy) for kidney stones, you may be wondering how you can further lower your risk of developing kidney stones again. One way to do this is to avoid foods high in oxalates. Oxalates are organic molecules found naturally in many plant-based foods and can contribute to the formation of kidney stones. Some foods with high levels of oxalates include spinach, rhubarb, almonds, beets, and sweet potatoes.

Do Not Skip Meals

It’s often tempting to skip meals when we are busy or not feeling hungry, but this isn’t a smart choice for PCNL patients. Skipping meals can lead to extreme hunger causing us to overeat later, which can contribute to weight gain and a higher risk of developing kidney stones. Make sure to have three balanced meals per day and snack in between if you need to. This will help keep your hunger under control and give your body the nutrition it needs for PCNL success.


PCNL patients can lower their risk of kidney stones by making changes to their food and lifestyle. Eating a healthy and balanced diet, reducing their sodium intake, and staying hydrated are simple steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of kidney stones. Additionally, avoiding cigarettes, alcohol, and excessive caffeine can help to further decrease the risk. PCNL patients should always consult with their doctor before making any drastic changes to their diet or lifestyle.

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