A renal biopsy is a procedure used to extract kidney tissue for laboratory analysis. The word “renal” describes the kidneys, so a renal biopsy is also called a kidney biopsy. The test helps your doctor identify the type of kidney disease you have, how severe it is and the best treatment for it. A renal biopsy can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of kidney treatments and see if there are any complications following a kidney transplant.
There are two ways to perform a renal biopsy:
Percutaneous biopsy (renal needle biopsy) : This is the most common type of renal biopsy. For this procedure, a doctor inserts a thin biopsy needle through the skin to remove your kidney tissue. They may use an ultrasound or CT scan to direct the needle to a specific area of the kidney.
Open biopsy (surgical biopsy) : For this procedure, your doctor makes a cut in the skin near the kidneys. This allows the physician to look at the kidneys and determine the area from which the tissue samples should be taken.
A renal biopsy can identify what is interfering with your normal kidney function. Healthy individuals have two kidneys that perform many functions. It’s the kidneys’ job to:
Generally, a renal biopsy is performed on a patient who stay at hospital for treatment. However, it can also be done in a radiology department if an ultrasound or CT scan is needed during the procedure.
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