Purpose: To assess the safety and efficacy of self-removing antegrade tethered stents after percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PNL) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Materials and Methods: Instead of routine placement of double-J stent which requires endoscopic removal, a tethered antegrade stent after tubeless PNL as an exit strategy followed by self-removal can obviate the need of early postoperative revisit. A prospective observational study in a university teaching hospital was conducted during the lockdown period from May 2021-June 2021 with the use of antegrade tethered stent in 30 patients and we studied the complications associated with it. Results: The average stone size among the patients was 2.4 cm (1.2-4.9). Postoperative visual analog scale (VAS) till the time of stent removal was 30.8 + 4.4 mm while the VAS at stent removal was 26.6 + 3.8 mm. None of the patients had urine leak or hemorrhage from the site of percutaneous access after self-removal of stent. Two (6.66 percent) patients had grade I and grade II modified Clavien-Dindo complication. The mean score of satisfaction with life scale (SWLS) Questionnaire was 31 (34-27). The present study demonstrates that tubeless PNL with antegrade tethered stent has the advantages of avoiding hospital visits for stent removal during COVID-19. Conclusion: The use of an antegrade threaded stent is safe, culminating in minimal morbidity and patient distress, and greater overall patient satisfaction.
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