A biopsy is a diagnostic test that involves collecting small pieces of kidney tissue, usually through a needle, for examination with a microscope. A kidney biopsy can help in making a diagnosis and in choosing the best possible treatment. The doctor may find a condition that can be treated and cured. A biopsy can also help explain why a kidney is not working properly.
A kidney biopsy is needed to make a diagnosis in any of the following conditions:
• hematuria, which is blood in the urine
• proteinuria, which is excessive protein in the urine
• impaired kidney function, which causes excessive waste products in the blood
What are the preparations for a kidney biopsy?
You should let the doctor know of all the medicines you take and any drug allergies that you might have. You should avoid aspirin and other blood-thinning medicines for 5-7 days before the procedure. Some doctors advise their patients to avoid food and fluids before the test, while others tell patients to eat a light meal. Shortly before the biopsy, blood and urine samples are taken to make sure there is no urine infection or any condition that would make doing a biopsy risky.
How is a kidney biopsy done?
Your doctor will explain in detail about how the biopsy is done. You will be asked to sign a consent form saying that you understand the risks involved in this procedure. The risks are slight, but patients should discuss these risks in detail with their doctors before signing the form. Kidney biopsies are usually done in a hospital. You will be fully awake You will be asked to lie on stomach and the doctor checks the kidneys with ultrasound. The area is cleaned , and a local anesthetic is given before the needle is inserted. The doctor inserts the biopsy needle and collects the tissue. . You may hear a sharp clicking noise . The doctor may need to repeat three or four times to collect the needed samples. The entire procedure usually takes about an hour, from the start to finish.
What happens after a kidney biopsy?
After the test, you should lie on your back in the hospital for a 4-6 hours. During this time, the staff will monitor blood pressure and pulse frequently. Most patients leave the hospital the same day. You may notice some blood in the urine for 24 hours after the test. A rare complication is uncontrolled bleeding. You should inform the doctor if you have any of these problems:
• blood in the urine more than 24 hours after the test
• inability/difficulty to urinate
• worsening pain in the biopsy site
• faintness or dizziness
How are kidney biopsy results reported?
A pathologist will look at the kidney tissue samples under the microscope to check for any abnormality that would explain the cause for abnormal kidney function. It usually takes a few days.to get the full biopsy results.