A kidney biopsy is a test to take a sample (biopsy) of kidney. The doctor puts a long needle through your back (flank) into the kidney. Another doctor will look at the kidney tissue with a microscope to check for problems.
After the test, you will be told to lie down on your back for several hours. After this, you should avoid strenuous activity for the next 2 to 3 days. If you stopped taking aspirin or some other blood thinner before the test, your doctor will tell you when to start taking it again.
It's normal to feel some soreness in the area of the biopsy for 2 to 3 days. You may have a small amount of bleeding on the bandage after the test. You may notice some blood in your urine after the test. This should go away in 1 or 2 days. If it doesn't, call your doctor.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to feel better as quickly as possible.
How can you care for yourself at home?
- Avoid lifting anything that would make you strain. This may include heavy grocery bags and milk containers, a heavy briefcase or backpack, cat litter or dog food bags, a vacuum cleaner, or a child.
- Avoid strenuous activities, such as bicycle riding, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, until your doctor says it is okay.
- Try to walk each day. Start by walking a little more than you did the day before. Bit by bit, increase the amount you walk. Walking boosts blood flow and helps prevent pneumonia and constipation.
- Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
- Ask your doctor when it is okay for you to have sex.
- You can eat your normal diet. If your stomach is upset, try bland, low-fat foods like plain rice, broiled chicken, toast, and yogurt.
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid becoming dehydrated.
- Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. He or she will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
- If you stopped taking aspirin or some other blood thinner, your doctor will tell you when to start taking it again.
- Do not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory medicines for a week after the biopsy.
- Keep a bandage over the puncture site for the first 1 or 2 days.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
When should you call for help?
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You passed out (lost consciousness).
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have signs of infection, such as:
- Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
- Red streaks leading from the puncture site.
- Pus draining from the puncture site.
- A fever.
- Bright red blood has soaked through the bandage over the puncture site.
- You have new or worse pain at the puncture site.
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and call your doctor if:
- You have blood in your urine for more than 1 day.
Where can you learn more?
Enter S675 in the search box to learn more about "Needle Biopsy of the Kidney: What to Expect at Home".