PCNL is a well-established treatment option for patients with large and complex renal calculi. In order to decrease morbidity that is associated with larger instruments like blood loss, postoperative pain and potential renal damage, a modification of the technique of standard PCNL has been developed. This is done with a miniature endoscope via a small percutaneous tract (11–20 F) and was named as minimally invasive or mini-PCNL. This method was initially described as an alternative percutaneous approach to large renal stones in a pediatric patient population. Furthermore, it has become a treatment option for adults as well, and it is used as a treatment for calculi of various sizes and locations.
UNevertheless, mini-PCNL can achieve comparable stone-free rates to the conventional method, even for large stones. It is a safe procedure, and no major complications are reported. Although less invasiveness has not been clearly demonstrated so far, mini-PCNL is usually related to less blood loss and shorter hospital stay than the standard method.