What is a Kidney Biopsy?

Kidney biopsy is also known as Renal Biopsy This procedure is used to extract kidney tissue for laboratory analysis. The test helps in identifying the doctor about the type of kidney disease a person has and also the severity and best treatment for it. The kidney biopsy is also used to monitor the effectiveness of kidney treatment and see if there are any other further complications related to kidney transplants.

There are 2 types of kidney biopsies:

  • Percutaneous or Needle biopsy: A needle is inserted into the skin above the kidney and guided to the correct location in the kidney using ultrasound.
  • Open biopsy: A sample of the kidney is removed directly from the kidney.
  • After that, the kidney sample is submitted to a pathology lab to be examined for symptoms of disease.
Kidney Biopsy

Why Kidney Biopsy is Needed

With the help of Kidney biopsy, the doctor will identify the cause of the problem in normal kidney function. The main function of the kidney is to:

  • Remove liquid waste from the blood
  • Maintain a balance of chemicals
  • Control blood pressure by producing the hormone renin
  • Help active the hormone calcitriol

The doctor may decide to undergo a renal biopsy if your usual blood and urine tests indicate that the kidneys aren't doing their job properly. This test may also be performed by the doctor to:

  • Find the reason for an abnormal level of waste products in the blood
  • If a kidney tumour is malignant or benign
  • Determine how quickly kidney disease is progressing
  • Determine the extent of damage from kidney disease

Preparation Before the Kidney Biopsy procedure

  • The doctor will ask you to go for some physical exam like blood tests or other diagnostic tests.
  • Talk to the doctor if the patient is sensitive to or allergic to any medicines, latex, tape and anesthesia.
  • Inform the doctor if the patient is taking any medications and supplements
  • Talk to the doctor if the patient has any bleeding disorders or are allergic to any kind of medications.
  • Before the procedure, the patient may be given a sedative to relax.
  • The healthcare team may require additional preparation based on the medical condition.

Kidney Biopsy Procedure

You will have a kidney biopsy done at a hospital or outpatient center. An IV will be placed before the procedure begins. Sedatives can be given intravenously.

During the Procedure

  • In the arm or hand, an intravenous (IV) line may be started.
  • An antiseptic solution will be used to clean the skin around the biopsy site.
  • When the local anaesthetic is injected, you will feel a needle stick. There may be a temporary stinging sensation as a result of this.
  • The needle may be guided into the kidney using ultrasound or X-ray.
  • While the healthcare provider puts the biopsy needle into the kidney, you will be urged to breathe in and hold your breath. This stops the diaphragm from moving about and interfering with the biopsy needle's positioning.
  • After the needle is removed strong pressure will be applied to the biopsy site to stop bleeding.
  • A sterile dressing or bandage will be applied.
  • The kidney tissue sample will be sent to the lab for testing.

Recovery time After the Kidney Biopsy procedure

The recovery time will vary on the treatment performed and the practices of the healthcare provider. As the anaesthetic wears off, the patient may be transferred to the recovery room and closely monitored. The patient will be asked to stay till the blood pressure, pulse, and respiration are stabilised.

Risks of a Kidney Biopsy

Complications may arise with any procedure, including:

  • Bruising and soreness around the biopsy site
  • Bleeding from the biopsy site, urine, or inside the body
  • Organs or structures nearby are pierced
  • Near the biopsy site, there is an infection

When a kidney biopsy is performed with an X-ray, the amount of radiation used is minimal. As a result, the risk of radiation exposure is minimal.

Results of Kidney Biopsy

The tissue sample taken during the kidney biopsy is sent to a laboratory to be examined. The tissue is examined by a pathologist.

Microscopes and reactive dyes are used to examine the sample. Any deposits or scars that occur are identified and assessed by the pathologist. Infections and other abnormalities will be found as well.

The doctor will receive a report from the pathologist when he or she has compiled the results. In most cases, results are available within a week.

The results are considered normal if the kidney tissue has a normal structure that is free of abnormalities.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How painful is a kidney biopsy?

Since numbing drugs are used, the process is usually painless. When the numbing drug is first injected, it may burn or hurt. For a few days after the surgery, the area may feel painful or sore. During the first 24 hours after the test, you may notice bright, red blood in your pee.

2. Why would a kidney biopsy be done?

A kidney biopsy, also known as a renal biopsy, may be recommended by the doctor to diagnose a suspected kidney issue. It can also be used to determine the severity of a kidney ailment or to track the progress of kidney disease treatment.

3. How long does a kidney biopsy take to heal?

The patient will be asked to lie down on the back for several hours after the test. After that, you should rest for about a week before engaging in severe activities. It's common to experience some discomfort in the biopsy area for 2 to 3 days.

4. What is the cost of a kidney biopsy?

The average kidney biopsy cost in India might range from INR 7,000 to INR 30,000, but this may vary with location and hospitals.

5. How long does it take to get results from the biopsy?

The kidney biopsy result can take up to 4 to 7 days. The result will require a complicated analysis, as soon as you receive the result consult with your doctor.