What is Kidney Biopsy? Why do you need a kidney biopsy?

kidney biopsy

What is Kidney Biopsy? Why do you need a kidney biopsy?

The biopsy is a procedure of examining a sample tissue taken out of the body. Kidney biopsy, as the name suggests, is when a small tissue from the kidney is taken out of the body and then evaluated under a microscope. To understand everything about kidney biopsy, one must at least know; the need for a renal biopsy, the preparation and procedure for a kidney biopsy, the risks involved, and lastly the state of the patient after the procedure.

Why do you need a kidney biopsy?

If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms, you might be advised for a kidney biopsy:

  • Hematuria
  • Proteinuria
  • Nephritic syndrome
  • Unknown cause of unusual blood test result
  • Kidney transplant

A biopsy might be suggested to determine:

  • The cause of your symptoms
  • The rate of progression of your kidney disease
  • The intensity of damage to your kidneys
  • An effective treatment plan according to your condition

So, in general, a kidney biopsy is done to evaluate the nature, seriousness, and rate of spread of your kidney disease. But kidney biopsy is also done to keep an eye on the condition of a transplanted kidney.

How to prepare for kidney disease

  • The first step in preparation for a kidney biopsy is to stop the intake of the following medication with proper guidance from your doctor.
  • Painkillers including, Aspirin, NSAIDs and all anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Antiplatelet drugs
  • Drugs such as Apixaban, Dabigatran, Edoxaban are used to make the blood thin
  • Supplements such as vitamins

The medicine intake is advised to be stopped with effect from at least a week before your biopsy.

  • The second step is to get well evaluated by the doctors. This will include some tests to look for any possibility of infection in your body. In which case, if found, the kidney biopsy might be delayed.
  • Next, you will be asked to regulate your diet a few hours before your procedure is started. In this regulation, you might be prohibited to take anything before 6 hours of the biopsy.
  • Lastly, preparing yourself psychologically is one of the most important steps. This can be done by exactly knowing what to expect before, during, and after the procedure.

How is a kidney biopsy done?

  • The procedure of biopsy is started by laying the patient on the bed in a position that is comfortable and suitable for the biopsy
  • Then the patient will get an intravenous placed via which the sedative will be given during the procedure if needed
  • Identification of the spot from where the needle is to be inserted in the next step. To execute this, certain procedures such as ultrasound is used.
  • After identification, that spot is marked and given local anesthesia.
  • Once the needle is inserted through that spot, the movement of the needle to go further at the kidney is again assisted by the ultrasound
  • A specialized tool at the front of the needle will collect the sample from the kidneys. Meanwhile, the patient will be asked to stay still and not get overwhelmed by the sound of removal of tissue
  • As to avoid the pain of the patient, the doctors will only take a tiny portion of kidney tissue at a time. Therefore, a needle might be inserted more than once to gather enough tissue to be studied under a microscope

As the patients who are required to get a kidney biopsy done do not suffer from the same condition, hence the above procedure is not the only method of performing a kidney biopsy.

For some patients, the method of laparoscopy is used and for some, open kidney biopsy is done.

What are the risks involved in kidney biopsy?

Common risks include:

  • Tingling pain around the spot of insertion of the needle
  • Blood in urine

Rare risks include:

  • Unstoppable blood in the urine
  • Uncalculated damage to the vessels due to the needle
  • Infection
  • Irregular hematoma

What to expect after a successful kidney biopsy?

During 24 hours after the kidney biopsy is done, you will be well examined for your recovery rate and complications, if any such as high blood pressure, internal damage, etc. You will be advised to minimize your movement for 5 hours after the procedure. After that, you will be kept under observation.

After 24 hours of observation, you will be discharged and well instructed for the precautions to be taken at home.

As for your kidney sample, it will be completely examined by a specialist known as a pathologist for any kind of unusual state of the sample. The complete result of your kidney biopsy will be provided to you within four days after the biopsy is done.


It is very common to get scared when kidney biopsy is advised to the patients. To speak openly, the first impression of someone undergoing a kidney biopsy in the populace is the presence of a tumor in the kidney of that person.  When, in fact, a biopsy is done to find the exact cause of a particular condition and the causes can be widely ranged. No doubt, the tumor can be one of the causes of the condition but isn’t it good to be evaluated for that at the earliest hour? A kidney biopsy test saves thousands of lives every year by determining the best treatment needed for a specific condition.

We at Alfa kidney care provide these treatments as well as the best diagnoses through a kidney biopsy.

To Call us for more information: +91 9484993617