A kidney biopsy is the removal of a small piece of kidney tissue or cells. The tissue or cells are evaluated under a microscope to look for abnormalities.
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A kidney biopsy is done to diagnose a disease or medical condition.
A kidney biopsy may be done if you have: Blood in the urineHigh levels of protein in the urineLow kidney functionA growth on the kidneyKidney infectionA cyst on the kidney
After the tissue is examined, a diagnosis can be made and treatment can begin.
If you had a
kidney transplant, this procedure may be done to see if your new kidney is working properly.
Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you have a kidney biopsy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include: BleedingInfectionPain
may increase the risk of complications.
If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the biopsy.
Before the biopsy, your doctor may order urine tests, blood tests, and
of your kidneys.
You should ask your doctor when you can expect to know the biopsy results.Arrange for a ride home after your biopsy.Your doctor may ask you to fast or eat lightly before your biopsy.
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure.
You will receive a local anesthetic to numb your skin. You may also receive a light sedative.
This procedure is usually done in an outpatient setting with no need for an overnight stay. Your skin on your back or abdomen may be cleaned. A local anesthetic will be injected into the area where the biopsy will be taken. Next, your kidney will be located using either
or x-ray. Then, long needles will be inserted to collect tissue samples. A special instrument may be used to insert the needles. During the collection, you may be asked to hold your breath. After the samples are collected, a bandage will be placed on your skin.
The local anesthetic will block the pain during the biopsy. Afterwards, you may feel sore where the biopsy was taken. Ask your doctor which pain reliever is right for you.
You will be monitored for a few hours after your biopsy. You will be asked to remain lying down to reduce the chance of bleeding. Your pulse and blood pressure will be monitored. Your biopsy samples will be sent to the laboratory for testing. You will be sent home when you are feeling well and the doctor feels that it is safe.
When you return home you may have to avoid lifting or exercise until the biopsy area is healed. Follow any instructions on cleaning the incision site to avoid infection.
Contact your doctor if your recovery is not progressing as expected or you develop complications, such as: Bloody urine 24 hours after biopsy or a lot of blood in the urineDifficulty urinatingSigns of infection, including fever and chillsLightheadednessPain that is worse at biopsy sitePain that you cannot control with the medications that you were givenA constant urge to urinatePain or burning when you urinateRedness or drainage at biopsy site
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
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http://www.cancer.org/cancer/kidneycancer/detailedguide/kidney-cancer-adult-diagnosis. Updated February 10, 2016. Accessed September 6, 2016.
Kidney biopsy. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at:
https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/diagnostic-tests/kidney-biopsy/Pages/kidney-biopsy.aspx. Updated November 2015. Accessed September 6, 2016.
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Last reviewed May 2016 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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