Preventive Healthcare

Kidney Biopsy: Purpose, Procedure, and Risks

Kidney Biopsy: Everything You Need To Know About The Procedure

A kidney (or renal) biopsy is the procedure to remove kidney tissue for laboratory analysis. The test helps your doctor determine the kind of kidney disease, its severity, and the best course of treatment. A renal biopsy aims to ascertain whether kidney therapy is sufficient and whether problems following a kidney transplant exist.

Procedures for Kidney Biopsy

Needle-probe biopsy: This type of kidney biopsy is the most common. A doctor extracts kidney tissue using a small biopsy needle during this procedure. The hand can be directed towards a specific kidney region using an ultrasound or a CT scan.

Complete biopsy (surgical biopsy): A thorough biopsy (surgical biopsy). To do this procedure, the surgeon creates skin incisions around the kidneys. The physician can examine the kidneys to decide where tissue samples should be taken.

A kidney biopsy is frequently carried out as an outpatient procedure at a hospital. A radiology facility may be used for the process if a CT scan or ultrasound technology is required.

Percutaneous biopsy is by far the most popular kind of renal biopsy. A doctor must puncture the skin with a biopsy needle to retrieve kidney tissue. In an open biopsy, the surgeon identifies the location from which tissue samples will be taken by making a tiny incision in the skin around the kidneys.

Objectives of a Kidney Biopsy

In a healthy individual, two working kidneys carry out several tasks. The kidney’s function is to eliminate urea, a liquid-solid waste, from the blood.

If routine urine and blood tests reveal that your kidneys aren’t operating correctly, your doctor could recommend that you have an invasive renal biopsy. Your physician may also mandate the test.

These are the objectives of a kidney biopsy:

  • Identify the malignant or benign nature of a kidney tumour.
  • Test the effectiveness of a freshly given kidney.
  • Examine the underlying cause of (blood in urine).
  • Discover the root of the problem (high protein levels in urine).
  • Recognize the level of escalating renal failure and the progression pace.
  • Make a strategy to repair the damaged kidney.

Types of Kidney Biopsy

1. Percutaneous biopsy

  • Fine needle biopsy
  • Needle core biopsy

2. Open biopsy

Recovery After Kidney Biopsy

Before you may leave the hospital, the kidney biopsy will need to recover and be monitored. Your exact release time may fluctuate depending on your physical state, your doctor’s method, and how you respond to the therapy. If you’ve undergone an organ transplant, you’ll rest on your stomach and back for the following six to eight hours.

A doctor or nurse will monitor your vital indicators, including your temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and breathing rate. Tests on the blood and urine are done to look for internal haemorrhages or other issues.

The doctor will prescribe medications to ease the pain at the biopsy site. You will be allowed to leave the hospital and return home after your vital signs have returned to normal. It often happens 12 to 24 hours following the procedure. Brilliant red blood cells in your urine are typically seen for up to 24 hours following the biopsy. If the issue persists for more than a day, you must inform your doctor.

If you’re hungry, you may typically resume your regular eating routine. Your doctor might suggest you rest for 12 to 24 hours after your biopsy. Avoid any strenuous physical activity and heavy lifting for two weeks.

It is advised to refrain from jogging, aerobics, and any other exercise that includes bouncing for two weeks following the biopsy. If the biopsy site is painful, you may take medications.

Risks Involved in a Kidney Biopsy

A renal biopsy may help your doctor identify your kidney problems and choose the best course of action.

Infections that develop after surgery are a serious concern. But that is not typical. After your kidney biopsy, watch out for any symptoms that could point to a disease:

  • Vivid blue blood or blood clots in your urine persisting for more than 24 hours
  • Feel sick, develop a fever, or experience swelling, redness, bleeding, or other discharges as a result of an increasing discomfort at the biopsy site
  • Feel weak or flimsy
  • Infection, which may cause internal damage to the target organ or other nearby sites

Preparation for Kidney Biopsy

Usually, preparing for a kidney biopsy doesn’t involve much work. Any prescription/over-the-counter/herbal supplements you are taking must be disclosed to your doctor. Ask your doctor if you should stop taking them before the test, take a different dosage, or both.

Your doctor may give you additional instructions if you are presently taking any drugs that might potentially alter the outcomes of the kidney biopsy.

Results of Kidney Biopsy

The tissue sample from the kidney biopsy is taken to a laboratory for examination. A pathologist – a medical professional with specialised expertise in sickness diagnosis – examines the tissue.

Both an analysis and a microscopic inspection of your specimen employ reactive dyes. The pathologist will examine and assess any fresh scars or deposits. Additionally, infections and other anomalies may be discovered.

After examining the results, the pathologist will send the report to your doctor. The results will be available in a week.

A kidney biopsy is considered abnormal if changes are seen inside the renal tissue. Numerous factors contribute to this, and your kidneys may occasionally get affected  from conditions involving the other areas of your body.

If results don’t meet expectations, it could mean:

  • Connective tissue disorders – kidney infections affecting the connective tissues
  • Impeded or restricted blood flow to the kidneys
  • Transplanted kidneys being rejected
  • Kidney cancer
  • Complicated urinary tract infections having a detrimental impact on kidney function

To determine the best course of treatment, the doctor may prescribe further testing. After the kidney biopsy, they will walk you through the next steps and thoroughly go over your results and health.

You can get the  Kidney Biopsy Histopathology testing as recommended by your clinician.

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