The test takes 1-2 hours, but the patient should lie on his or her back for up to 24 hours after it is completed.
It is important for the test that blood flow and clotting be normal. Therefore, the patient will have blood tests before the test to screen for any abnormalities. If problems are detected, the biopsy may be cancelled, or percautions may be taken. Anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen impair blood clotting ability, so the patient must refrain from using such drugs for two weeks before the test.
The patient lies on his or her stomach. There are two possible ways of guiding the needle to the proper location in the kidney. The physician may use X-ray, CT scan or ultrasound techniques. Or, after applying a local anesthetic to the insertion site, he or she may insert a locating needle through a small incision and guide it into the kidney. In the latter case, the patient will then take several deep breaths to verify the position of the needle. The depth of the needle will be measured, and it will be removed. The biopsy needle is then inserted, following the same path.
The patient will remain in the hospital for up to 24 hours following the exam. During that time, blood pressure and blood count are closely monitored. Some patients experience red blood during that period; this is normal and does not indicate bleeding. Excessive physical activity should be avoided for two weeks after the test, so as not to stimulate bleeding. Some pain will be noticable in the loin area, but if it extends to the groin or abdominal area, consult your physician.
Last updated: 06-Jul-01