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What is involved in a Kidney Biopsy?
|November 30, 2016|
A kidney biopsy is done to remove a small piece of kidney tissue to examine under a microscope to find out what is causing the kidney disease and its severity so appropriate treatment plans are chosen by your kidney doctor.
Most often this is done under direct picturing and guidance of an ultrasound or CT scan by inserting a thin needle through the skin of the back to the kidney for obtaining a small sample tissue.
Why it's done
A kidney biopsy may be done to:
Your kidney doctor may recommend a kidney biopsy based on the results of blood or urine tests that show:
Kidney biopsy is not necessarily needed in everyone with these problems. The decision is usually made between you and your kidney doctor based on your signs and symptoms, test results, and overall health.
In general, kidney biopsy is a safe procedure. Possible risks include:
How you prepare
Your kidney doctor will talk about what to expect during a kidney biopsy. This is a good time to ask questions about the procedure and make sure you understand the benefits and risks.
When you meet with your doctor, bring a list of all medications you take, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins and herbal supplements. Before your kidney biopsy, you'll be asked to take your blood pressure medications but stop water pills and taking medications and supplements that can increase the risk of bleeding. These include:
Generally, these medications will be stopped several days before the procedure and may be resumed several days after the procedure. Your doctor or nurse will let you know when to stop taking these medications and supplements, and for how long.
Blood and urine samples
Before your biopsy, you'll have blood drawn and provide a urine sample to make sure you don't have an infection or another condition that would make the biopsy risky.
You may be asked not to drink or eat for eight hours before the kidney biopsy.
What to Expect:
A kidney biopsy is done at a hospital or outpatient center. Usually an IV will be placed before the procedure starts for giving fluids or medications.
During the procedure
During the procedure, you'll be sedated but awake and able to follow instructions. The physician will choose which kidney to biopsy, right or left. You lie on your abdomen or your side, depending on which position allows best access to the kidney which is being biopsied. For biopsy of a transplanted kidney, most people lie on their backs as this kidney is closer to the front of abdomen.
A kidney biopsy takes about an hour and includes these steps:
Other kidney biopsy procedures
The above kidney biopsy may not be an option for some people. If you have a history of bleeding problems, have a blood-clotting disorder or have only one kidney, your doctor may consider other types of biopsy like laparoscopic biopsy.
In this procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a thin, lighted tube with a video camera at its tip (laparoscope) through your back. This tool allows the surgeon to view your kidney on a video screen and remove tissue samples.
After the procedure
After the kidney biopsy, you can expect to:
Most people can leave the hospital or outpatient center the same day. You may need to rest in bed for 12 to 24 hours after the biopsy, as directed by your doctor. You will receive instructions about any activity restrictions, such as avoiding heavy lifting and strenuous exercise, jogging and jumping.
Call your doctor if you experience:
The tissue sample is sent to an outside pathology lab that specializes in looking at kidney tissue. It may take 7-10 days to get your biopsy report from the pathology lab. In urgent situations, a partial report may be available to your kidney doctor sooner. At a follow-up visit, your kidney doctor will discuss the results with you. The biopsy results may further explain what's causing your kidney disease, or the results may be used to change or adjust your treatment plan.
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