There are many ways to do a kidney biopsy. They include:
- Ultrasound-guided kidney biopsy
- CT-guided kidney biopsy
- Surgical biopsy
The most common kidney biopsy uses ultrasound to guide the doctor to the proper area in your kidney. The biopsy is done in the hospital. Your doctor will go over the procedure, benefits, and risks in great detail.
- You will lie face down for at least 20 - 30 minutes.
- A towel may be placed under your belly area so you stay in the correct position.
- A numbing medicine (anesthetic) is injected under the skin near the kidney area.
- The health care provider makes a tiny cut in the skin. The doctor uses ultrasound images to find the proper location.
- A biopsy needle goes through the skin to the surface of the kidney.You will be asked to take and hold a deep breath as the needle goes into the kidney.
If the health care provider is not using ultrasound guidance, you may be asked to take deep breaths to verify the needle is in place.
- The doctor removes the biopsy needle. Pressure is applied to the biopsy site to stop the bleeding.
- The needle may need to be inserted again (possibly several times) before enough tissue is collected.
- After the procedure, a bandage is applied to the biopsy site.
You will need to stay in bed for 6 - 8 hours after the procedure and will remain in the hospital for at least 12 hours. The health care team will give you pain medicines and fluids by mouth or a vein. Your urine will be checked for excessive bleeding. (A little bleeding usually occurs.) Blood counts and vital signs are monitored.
Kidney biopsies may also be done using CT scan guidance.
In some cases, your doctor may recommend a surgical biopsy. Although surgical biopsies have traditionally required a 3- to 5-inch cut, they can often be done laparoscopically, which uses smaller surgical cuts. Surgical biopsies involve a longer recovery than a simpler needle biopsy.