Pass MRCP Header

MRCP PACES Home MRCP Featured Article MRCP Previous Issues MRCP Forum Here MRCP Blog Here MRCP Support Here


What is kidney biopsy?

1) What is kidney biopsy?

Answer: Kidney biopsy is a procedure doctors perform so that a small piece of your kidney tissue can be taken for examination. Usually it is performed using a needle ( percutenous method).

2) Who needs a kidney biopsy?

Answer: Usually patients with significant proteinuria ( protein leaking in your urine), unexplained kidney failure or haematuria ( blood in the urine) with proteinuria might need a kidney biopsy. Patients with kidney transplantation might need this procedure if your doctor thinks it is warranted. There were a total of 1519 biopsies done in government hospitals in year 2008.

3) How long will I be in the hospital?

Answer:It most cases you will stay between 2-3 days, so that the doctor can monitor you after the procedure. It is rarely performed as a day care procedure although it can be done in such a manner

4) What happens before the procedure?

Answer:You will attend my clinic so that some important blood and urine tests to be taken. You will need to FAST (have nothing to eat or drink) from midnight one day before the procedure.

5) What does the doctor do?

Answer: The procedure is done under real ultrasound guidance. You need to lie in prone position when the biopsy is done. You need to lie flat for at least 6 hours after the procedure. Inform the nursing staff if you notice blood in your urine when you pee.

6) What sort of anesthesia will I have?

Answer: You will be given a local anaesthetic to the area of biopsy. However, you might want to request some extra medications to make you at ease from your doctor if you are nervous.

7) What are the possible complications of a kidney biopsy?


  • Transient gross haematuria ( blood in urine) 5-15%- usually self limiting and resolves after bed rest.
  • Pain at biopsy site-common
  • Gross haematuria needing blood transfusion up to 5%.
  • Massive bleeding needing surgery or procedure- up to -0.4%.
  • Massive bleeding needing your kidney to be removed about 0.1-0.2%.
  • Pneumothorax-RARE
  • Massive bleeding causing mortality- RARE!

8) What happens when I go home?

Answer: It is important to keep your biopsy site clean and dry; a small dressing may be needed at the biopsy site. You are required not to lift heavy things for 6 weeks.Sexual intercourse should be avoided for 2 weeks after the procedure.

9) Pain relief

Answer:For pain take 1 to 2 Panadol/Paracetamol(6 hourly, or as required) for pain control.

10) Return to work

Answer:Usually you will require 3-5 days off work after this procedure. If you require a medical certificate please ensure to obtain it prior to your discharge.

11) When to contact your doctor/nephrologist

Answer: Contact or go and see your local doctor/ nephrologist if you have- Increasing pain ; Passing heavy blood-stained urine; or Fever.

12) Follow Up

Answer: A follow – up appointment for review by the doctor will be made for your upon discharge from the ward. This will be 1 to 2 weeks later at the Outpatients Clinics with Dr. Goh Heong Keong.

13) What to bring into the hospital?


  • Remember to bring any medication you normally take each day.
  • Please ensure that all jewelry, make up your nail polish if applicable is removed prior to your admission.
  • Please bring a change of clothes, pajamas, slippers, dressing gown and all personal toiletries u will require whilst in hospital.
  • Please let nursing staff know if you have any special needs which may affect your care. E.g.: religious or culture customs, Non English speaking.

Download this information sheet!