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Test: Kidney Biopsy

A kidney biopsy is used to identify the nature and extent of kidney damage. The biopsy may be carried out as an outpatient procedure, or you may have to stay in hospital overnight. During the biopsy, a small piece of kidney tissue is removed. This tissue is then sent to a laboratory for microscopic examination. After the biopsy, you will be advised to rest for about 2 hours to minimize the risk of bleeding from the kidney.

Having a biopsy

You will be asked to lie face down. The kidney is first located accurately using ultrasound scanning and then the biopsy is carried out. Under local anaesthesia, a needle is inserted through your skin into the kidney to remove a small sample of tissue.

From the 2010 revision of the Complete Home Medical Guide © Dorling Kindersley Limited.

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