Has anyone experience a kidney biopsy?

Hello, I have ckd stage 3 due to reflux nephropathy with a 40% kidney function. I am on lisinopril for my blood pressure and a statin for my cholesterol. At my last consultation I was told that all my tests came back in the normal levels but my kidney function was decreasing. I have to go back to the renal clinic in March and was told that if it was still decreasing that they would do a biopsy to see why this is happening, I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced a biopsy as when I googled it it didn't sound very pleasant?


21 Replies

  • ooooh, I haven't had one, but please, please DON'T google it xxxx I did this for something I needed done with my kidney, got into a right state, feeling physically sick and couldnt talk about it without crying. When it came to actually having it done, I didn't feel a thing and never even knew I had a stent in.

    Ring up and ask to speak to someone in the Renal dept to put your mind at rest. It may not be a pleasant thing to have done, but please remember, they won't do anything to hurt you x

  • Thank you, I know I shouldn't google things. I have just had my 6 month bloods done and will be having them done again in March when I see the consultant. If they have stabilised then hopefully I won't have to have it done.

  • hi the biopsy isn't that bad they put a local in to back then use a very fine needle with a like a little grabber on the end to pinch a bit of kidney tissue, my one son had his first one when he was 10 years old and has had five since, my other son had his first one at 20 and two more since also a transplant... they sound worse than what they are but try to relax ...harder said than done but do talk to your doctor and take someone with you I held my son's hands and talked to them all through there biopsy to take there mind off it,, so if you have someone who isn't tickle stomached.. It's not bloody but you do see needles go in the back,they will be of great help to you... My son's said it wasn't as painful as they thought it was going to be.. but remember to rest afterwards.... hope this helped ...if i can help with anything else please let me know... not much our family don't know about kidneys now we've been going to renal unit for past 14 years or so with both son's one daughter and now myself....

  • You sound like our family I have kidney disease, my brother had a kidney transplant in May 2011 with my Mum donating her kidney, my Dad has protein leak and my children were seen last week (age 7 and 10 yrs) at the Evelena Hospital in London to have them tested and we were seen two years ago in Guys in London for genetic testing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Good luck with everything x

  • i had a biopsy in april and it doesnt hurt if you feel anything let them know and you will get more local you might have to stay in hospital over night but you must rest for a while hope this helps

  • Hi,

    I had a biopsy and its not as bad as you think! I remember having to lie on my front with a pillow under my tummy, my back was then numbed and a fine needle with a 'grabber' was inserted and took a piece of tissue. It took no time at all.

    I had to stat in hospital overnight and was asked to stay in bed for 24 hours - a good excuse to lie and do nothing!

    I was a bit sore for a few days after but no other side effects.

  • ive had 2,both Kidneys, owing to having tumours on both of them ....... i have to admit it wasnt the most pleasent experience ive had . I was placed in a CT scanner & needle were inserted into my kidneys & biopses taken.

  • Hi I had a biopsy in my transplanted kidney, so slightly different as they went in through the tummy. I didn't have any pain just slight pressure over the area. Good luck and hope your results will be ok in March x

  • Hi I had a biopsy ten years ago to find out why I was leaking large quantities of protein and suffering from extensive oedema after the biopsy I was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome - FSGS) Like many of the other posters have said it didn't hurt it just feels like a mild aching sensation. Most patients get to see the biopsy once it has been taken and that just looks like a pink piece of hair!! Good luck x

  • ive had a couple and like everyone has said its not that bad, a bit stingy when they freeze the area, and a long lie down, i had a cut test too to check my clotting time its no worse than a paper cut, you'll b fine

  • Its not too bad just take a book or an IPOD with you as you have to lie flat on your back for 8+ hours. Take someone with you as well to talk with and for support.

    Take care and good luck.


  • I've had 4 in all. I had my transplant in 2005 at Cardiff UHW and although successful it was a long slog and I had to stay in hospital post-transplant for 5 months for one thing and another.

    I'll admit to being terrified of having a biopsy so I was on edge to start with. The first one was within the first week and they went in through my lower back - my new kidney is in my right groin. I had a local and the needle didn't hurt. The noise was horrible. I didn't see what they used but in my head it reminded me of those potato guns that were the rage when we were young. That BANG sound. Just loud and unexpected. I had to lie flat on my back for the next 6 hours (to prevent any leakage) - couldn't even get up to pee. My husband was with me and so he was able to help when I had to balance on the cardboard cowboy hat potty...lol We chatted and I snoozed. Time passes.

    The next couple of biopsies went roughly the same way. The last one I had was after I'd been out of the hospital for a few weeks and my creatinine shot up. It was a scorching hot day, the room they used had no air con, just a small fan and a window that barely opened. There were a couple of trainees watching the procedure and the various medical staff. I felt like I was in a sauna. This time things didn't go so well. The biopsy needle just wouldn't go into the kidney. At one point it felt as though the doctor was using two hands and trying to put all his weight behind it. After a couple of attempts, he gave up and I was sent for a scan. The results showed that the kidney was okay but it had developed very bad scaring and this was what was preventing the needle from getting to where it should go. The problem with the creatinine was my own fault - not drinking enough fluids.

    My kidney will be 7 years old in December. We've had our ups and downs but she's still ticking over nicely. Not 100% but good enough that I don't need dialysis. I'm still on 6 weekly check ups at Swansea and, touch wood, I haven't had to have a biopsy since those early days.

    So, TL;DR : Biopsy didn't hurt but the unexpected noise was a shock. Just a pain having to lie still for 6 hours. Take a book, iPod or have a nap :D

    Good luck and hope it all goes well.

  • hi i had a biopsy done oct 2011. had no idea what to expect, but 2be honest it was no as bad as what i expected. i had been admiteed 2 hspt the previous frid and i got it done on the monday. My aera around th kidney was froze, nurse held my hand. Yes there is pain afterwrards but 2 be honest it found out what was wrong with me. Try an not think about it. all the best x

  • Thank you everyone, you have put my mind at ease. It is so nice to talk to other people that understand what you are going through. So thank you again your kind words are appreciated xx

  • I have to agree totally with you there Meggiemoo, when you get advice and feedback from someone who has experienced your situation first hand it is so much more reassuring than getting advice from someone reading from a text book, or in fact googling the problem, who themselves have not had similar problems. I was terrified myself at the explanations of how a stent is inserted on google, having suffered with chest pain and been told this could be a possibility, but when i suffered a major heart attack last year and this was my only option to save my life the procedure was painless and over before i knew it. Now faced with a possible biopsy to determine the cause of my CKD i too find myself in your situation. But like so many have said in reply to your post " they wouldn't do anything that will hurt you " and i am sure you and me alike will go through the procedure and look back thinking " all that worry. For what? " Think positive and be strong as i know first hand that we are all stronger than we care to admit. Thoughts are with you and all who are suffering.

  • Ive had two biopys one on my own kidneys and one transplanted. The anesthetic as always stings and I would say it doesnt hurt once they are in, you just feel some pushing and tugging and a jolt when they take the actual biopsy

  • Thank you x

  • Yes i have in 2010.

  • I had one last year and it honestly wasn't too bad so try not to worry too much :) They offered me a slight sedative (I was 16 at the time) but I turned it down because I wanted a subway once I was allowed to eat after and not just too sleep! However, if you are really worried then ask if you would be allowed something to calm you down. I think the worst part was not being allowed breakfast.

    You lie on your tummy, a nice nurse may hold your hand while they do it and if you ask the person in charge they will explain every step, the local anaesthetic to numb the area may sting a little bit (apparently no different to when you get a tooth out) but then when they put the longer needle with the grabby bit on the end in you can't feel it. Their is then a dull thump when they actually do the 'grabby bit' but it's just a dull pain and a loud bang, caused by the needle type thing they are using. If you feel any sharp pains please tell them and they will insert more local.

    After you have to lie on your back for up to 24 hours so like everyone else has said take something to keep you entertained. I hope everything goes well for you with your tests x

  • Try stem cell therapy.

    I have CKD stage 3, I will try stem cell therapy.


  • I just had a kidney biopsy done this morning. I was told I have stage 3 cronic kidney disease or failure. It's not fun at all but worth doing if you're having problems. They took 3 samples from me but it was extremely quick and if the doctor is as good as the one that did mine there will be no bleeding afterwards I only had to stay 3 1/2 hours after I'm walking a little sore and uncomfortable but nothing major. Can't lift more than 10 pounds for a few days and no driving for 24-48 hours but you will be fine. Like I said as a EMT student myself I can tell you this; it's better to do it now than try to do it later because there is a chance to correct this. You should always put your health first and we're all here for you

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