Open renal biopsy

What is this?

Exposure and biopsy of the kidney through an open incision in the side

What alternatives are there?

Percutaneous needle biopsy, observation

What to expect before procedure

You will usually be admitted on the same day as your surgery although some patients require admission on the day before surgery. You will normally receive an appointment for pre-assessment, approximately 14 days before your admission, to assess your general fitness, to screen for the carriage of MRSA and to perform some baseline investigations. After admission, you will be seen by members of the medical team which may include the Consultant, Specialist Registrar, House Officer and your named nurse. You will be asked not to eat or drink for 6 hours before surgery and, immediately before the operation, you may be given a pre-medication by the anaesthetist which will make you dry-mouthed and pleasantly sleepy. You will be given an injection under the skin of a drug (Clexane), that, along with the help of elasticated stockings provided by the ward, will help prevent thrombosis (clots) in the veins.

What happens during the procedure?

Normally, a full general anaesthetic will be used and you will be asleep throughout the procedure. In some patients, the anaesthetist may also use an epidural anaesthetic which improves or minimises pain post-operatively. The kidney is exposed through an incision in your loin and samples taken either with a needle or by removing a wedge of tissue. Bleeding is controlled by a paste which promotes clotting of blood although, occasionally, stitches are required in the kidney. The wound is then closed and usually does not require a drain

After the procedure

You will be encouraged to take clear fluids by mouth and to mobilise as soon as possible. The average hospital stay is 5 days.

Potential side effects