What to expect from a kidney biopsy? - Kidney Disease

Kidney Disease

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What to expect from a kidney biopsy?

Lookingforinfo123 profile image

I have been diagnosed with glomerulonephritis for the past two years and now my nephrologist wants to do a kidney biopsy to find the cause. Not sure what to expect. He said I have to be in the hospital for 24 hours and no real physical exertion for two weeks afterwards. What is the recovery time like? Are there any other restrictions I should know about? Any feedback on your experiences?

10 Replies

I had a biopsy in late August of 2013. It was a very easy procedure. It took no more than 15 minutes total. I had to stay in the hospital for 4 hours after to be sure I wasn’t having any internal bleeding. I had no internal bleeding. I took my computer with me and did some work as I waited it out. I was dismissed and went home by 3 pm that afternoon. I experienced no pain with the procedure either during or following. In fact I was awake throughout the biopsy so heard the entire conversation that occurred throughout the procedure.


Same here. I had a biopsy about a year and a half ago. Just some discomfort and no heavy lifting or exertion for a couple weeks. In my case they were looking for a cause for the same illness. The biopsy however wasn't able to provide any answer beyond we don't know. Idiopathic being the medical term. Good news was that there was only one illness to treat and I'm now in full remission. Symptom free and living healthy. I even do crossfit. So don't worry about the biopsy. It's a walk in the park all things considered. Good luck.

Maryam63 profile image
Maryam63 in reply to Dunsouth

Hey just out of curosity what was ur diagnosis? ...

WYOAnne profile image
WYOAnneNKF Ambassador

I have had many kidney biopsies both pre and post transplant. The biopsy is ultrasound guided and really is very easy. You need to lay flat for at least an hour afterwards so there is no internal bleeding from where they do the biopsy. I never had any pain afterwards except one time when I did have some bleeding after, but it was better that same day. My initial biopsy showed that I had FSGS. Post transplant they did a biopsy to make sure there was no rejection of my new kidney.

Good luck. There is something satisfying finding out the cause of your CKD. My FSGS was caused by strep I had when I was 9, causing nephritis a few months later. 30 years later I was in CKD.

Thank you. That is interesting bc I had strep a lot as a kid and finally had my tonsils out at 17. Thanks for sharing.

Maryam63 profile image
Maryam63 in reply to WYOAnne

Thanks for sharing ur experience? Have you had any other blood tests up showing the FSGS ? Or only found out with biopsy ?

WYOAnne profile image
WYOAnneNKF Ambassador in reply to Maryam63

The FSGS only showed up on biopsy. The blood tests showed that my kidneys are not functioning like they should and that I have CKD. That is why the biopsy was done, to find the cause of the CKD.

When is your biopsy?

Maryam63 profile image
Maryam63 in reply to WYOAnne

Thanks very much. Ok . We are waiting for my partner biopsy in 3 weeks and its quite stressful time... he only has significant proteinuria and lower gfr ... dr talking about iga nephropathy ... but not sure yet :/

WYOAnne profile image
WYOAnneNKF Ambassador in reply to Maryam63

Keep us posted. We are here for you both!

Take care.

I had a kidney biopsy done and it’s like others say, not painful and guided by ultrasound. In my case it was a good job I was dosed up on sedative otherwise I might have done something to the doctor I’d later regret - it took him seven attempts to get a decent sample and I was starting to lose patience at the fifth.

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