This procedure involves the removal of a sample of kidney tissue to check for kidney diseases, including cancer.
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that are located on either side toward the back, just below the rib cage. One of the main functions of the kidneys is to filter the blood.
The kidneys, and the hormones they produce, have several important functions that include:
A kidney biopsy is the removal of a sample of kidney tissue to check for kidney diseases. Your healthcare provider may recommend a kidney biopsy if you have symptoms of kidney disease or an abnormal imaging study. The biopsy will help determine if you have kidney disease, such as glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the parts of your kidneys that filter urine).
It is not known what causes kidney cancer. However, there are several factors that may increase your risk.
Some of the symptoms of kidney cancer include:
It is important to remember that these symptoms can be caused by other conditions.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have any of the above symptoms. He or she will review your symptoms and perform a physical examination. They may also recommend one of the following tests:
Sometimes, a biopsy is needed to determine if an abnormality is cancer or another kidney disorder.
If your kidney biopsy indicates you have kidney cancer, additional testing (CT scan, PET scan or MRI) may be needed. If your healthcare provider recommends a kidney biopsy, prior to the procedure tell them about any medications you are taking (including over-the-counter medications, herbal medications and supplements). You should also ask about specific instructions to follow before and after the procedure. These include:
The biopsy will likely be performed in a hospitals radiology department. Sometimes it is performed in an operating room. You may be given medication to help you relax.
There may be some blood in your urine after the test.
Contact your healthcare provider if you have symptoms of kidney disease. Be prepared to discuss your symptoms and how long you have had them.
What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a kidney biopsy?
After your procedure, you should know what you had done, what medication was given and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider after discharge. You should also understand all home care instructions (including medications and side effects) and follow-up plans. Your surgeon or nephrologist should also communicate with your primary care physician.
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