A kidney biopsy is done after other tests for kidney disease
(such as blood and urine tests,
ultrasound, and a
CT scan) have not been able to tell what kind of
kidney problem is present. A kidney biopsy has more risk for problems than
these other tests and a chance of
false-negative results. More than one biopsy may be
needed. For more information, see the topics
Abdominal Ultrasound and
CT Scan of the Body.
A kidney biopsy will not be done if kidney cancer is suspected.
Surgery to remove the kidney will likely be recommended in this
Open kidney biopsy and ureteroscopy are two other methods that
may be used to take kidney tissue samples. You will stay overnight in the
hospital for these biopsies.
An open kidney biopsy is a surgery done in an operating room
while you are asleep (general anesthesia). A cut (incision) is made through the back or the side and a
small piece of kidney tissue is taken out. Open biopsy is often done when the doctor needs to remove a larger piece of tissue (such as a tumor). It may also be done when a person has only one working
kidney, to lower the chance of injuring the good kidney.
Ureteroscopy with biopsy is often done if there is a mass in
the renal pelvis or ureter. Ureteroscopy is a surgery done in an operating room
under spinal or general anesthesia. A long thin flexible tube (ureteroscope) is
used to look inside the ureter and lower part of the kidney (renal pelvis).
Once the mass is found, a biopsy is done through the ureteroscope.
Other Places To Get Help
National Kidney Foundation
30 East 33rd Street
New York, NY��10016
The National Kidney Foundation works to prevent kidney
and urinary tract diseases and help people affected by these conditions. Its
website has a lot of information about adult and child conditions. The site
has interactive tools, donor information, recipes for kidney disease patients,
and message boards for many kidney topics. Free materials, such as brochures
and newsletters, are available.