Has Anyone here had a Kidney Biopsy?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2004
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 3/31/2008 5:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Y'all! Has Anyone here had a Kidney Biopsy? My Nephrologist thinks I better get mine ASAP, and my Rheumy supports him....

What was it like? Did it hurt? Were you better within a day or two? Please tell me everything you can about your experience....


Diagnosed with Sjogrens in 1993, Raynauds and Vasculitis in 2001, and Lupus in 2004. Recent serious flare-up of Lupus Nephritis. Current Medications: Prednisone 20-30 mg alternating, with Plaquenil 400mg, plus now a couple of meds for high blood pressure (from the Lupus Nephritis) and one for the heartburn they give me.
A medication for anti-anxiety, a sleeping pill, and percoset are all taken as well, as needed.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 2244
   Posted 3/31/2008 8:41 PM (GMT -6)   
(((( Townsend )))) I've never had a kidney biopsy but wanted you to know you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Please let us know how it goes.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding ~ Proverbs 3:5 ~

DX: Hashimoto's 1999, Celiac Disease (AKA: gluten sensitivity) 2003, Raynaud's 2004, Lupus 2005 and Sjogrens 2006
RX: Imuran, Plaquenil, Methotrexate, Flexeril, Piroxicam, Levoxyl, Folic Acid, Lortab (as needed), Magnesium Citrate and magic mouthwash (as needed for mouthsores)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 3/31/2008 9:21 PM (GMT -6)   

I had one done two years ago, and it was not bad at all. My Dr. gave me medicine before and during the procedure, and all I felt was pressure on my side. After it was done I had to lay flat on my back for a few hours, and then I stayed the night at the hospital. In the morning I was released. I can say that I was sore after the biopsy, but it was not too bad. I rested for the next few days and was as good as new.

I hope this helps,


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 3/31/2008 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm curious too, I might be needing a biopsy soon also (although if it's necessary I'm going to try to put it off until AFTER my wedding in two months). I hear it's pretty invasive, and want to avoid any crazy invasive tests if at all possible...
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 3/31/2008 10:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Had a kidney biopsy over 2 years ago and it was no big deal.  They put me out with some kind of a twilight anesthetic....no pain and I woke up a while later. 
All invasive procedures have an element of risk but it was necessary in my case to determine if I had permanent kidney damage and how much.  I was in a life threatening situation for a variety of reasons and they wanted to determine how bad my kidneys were.  Fortunately, they were not that bad and have been controlled by meds ever since.
If your nephrologist and rheumy both want you to get it then do it.  Permanent kidney damage or the loss of one of both is life threatening.  The biopsy procedure is normally painless and without complication.
Mixed connective tissue disease (systemic lupus, scleroderma, polymyositis), Raynauds phenomena, Hypertension, Barrett's esophagus.
Meds: prednisone 5mg, 50mg imuran, Lotrel 40/5mg, maxide 37.5/25mg, folic acid, potassium, aciphex 20mg, multi vitamins.
Maintain your optimism and you can beat the odds.
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."  Helen Keller

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 2573
   Posted 4/1/2008 4:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I hope your biopsy goes well. Have it done no matter your fears or concerns. Two of my family members who had lupus died of kidney failure because their doctors thought they were hypocondriacs and by the time a biopsy was done it was far too late- no time to find a donor even.

If your neph says get one do it and if your rheumy agrees then consider it a red flag and do it ASAP!
Dx:fibromyalgia 2002, systematic lupus 2005- definate CNS involvement dxed late 2005, psoriasis 2006, rheumatoid arthritis 2006, PTSD 2007, multiple allergies 2005, migraine, compression fractures T11 & T12, Sj√∂gren's, damaged periphrial nerves 2007, pregnant due May 2008
Tx: plaquenil, Enbrel, Darvocet, Singulair, Flexeril, Baby Asprin, Imuran, Procardia, Prilosec

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 110
   Posted 4/1/2008 8:39 AM (GMT -6)   
I had one done 9 years ago. I was already hospitalized because of my kidneys, so it was just one more procedure they were putting me through to find out what was wrong with me. My neph just gave me local ansthetic, and after it was over I had to lay completely flat on my back for a couple of hours. I don't remember completely, but either it was the i.v. they had me hooked up to or the drugs they gave me so I wouldn't feel the biopsy or maybe a mix of both, but a half hour after I was back to my room I had to pee really bad. Insert bed pan. I filled that thing up twice before my bladder was empty. My husband was laughing so hard, the fool almost spilled it on my bed.

Anyway, I didn't feel too much pain after the anesthetic wore off. I was sore, but it wasn't any kind off soreness to complain about.
dix: lupus sle Jan. '99, hypo-thyroid Mar. '06
rx: pred. 5mg/day, plaquenil 200mg/day, levothyroxine .112mg/day, premarin .45mg/day
wife, mother of three

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 659
   Posted 4/1/2008 11:15 PM (GMT -6)   


I had a kidney biopsy done 5 years ago. I was awake for the whole thing but they give you something to relax you and they numb your kidney so it doesn't hurt. You do have to lay flat on your back for 6 hours afterwards but it isn't bad. The next day I had some mild pain but nothing major. I would not be afraid to have another one done. I would rather have that done than a colonoscopy! Good luck and try not to worry, it isn't bad at all.


DX: Kidney Disease, (? Lupus Nephritis) 2002
DX: Raynaud's Phenomenon and Lupus (SLE & Class V Lupus Nephritis) 2005
DX: Anorexia and Hypokalemia 2006
meds: plaquenil, amiloride, klor-con

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/2/2008 8:55 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a kidney biopsy about a month ago. All they did was give me a couple shots to numb the area...I was awake and aware for the entire thing. It really wasn't that bad though, the only part I felt was when they took the actual pieces of my kidney...felt like i was being punched in the kidney. Entire thing took about 45 min. Afterwards I had to stay off my feet for something like 4 hours and it just felt like a sore muscle after that. After some bed rest, a couple days later, I forgot I even had it done. No big deal.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1048
   Posted 4/2/2008 10:48 PM (GMT -6)   

I have had 4 biopsies done.  They are really not that bad at all!  They gave me something to help me relax before and numbed the area.  As the others have said you just feel pressure.  It sounds scarier than it is.  I'm the biopsy queen!!!  I think I could do one myself!  Try not to worry and don't put it off too long sometimes it can take a while for the results to come back.  Judy

(That's the worse part to me,  waiting!)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 154
   Posted 4/3/2008 12:15 AM (GMT -6)   
I had a kidney biopsy done about a year ago. I was nervous at first because they informed me of all the risks and how there can be complications and everything but it wasnt nearly as bad as I imagined. The worst part about it is when they are numbing the area the needle pinch hurts a little but thats it. After that, the area is completely numb, the only weird part was that you could hear and feel the doctor puncturing your skin (it sounds like someone is poking a sharp stick through fabric or something) but since its numb you dont feel anything. During my biopsy they had to poke two holes because they werent sure if the first sample was in a good area or not. Other than that it wasnt a bad experience at all. hope this helps!! good luck!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 4/3/2008 4:27 PM (GMT -6)   
i have quite a few done, they dont hurt at all and to be honest they didnt bother me one bit

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2003
Total Posts : 262
   Posted 4/4/2008 6:37 PM (GMT -6)   
same here, i've had like 7 in the last 13 yrs, both asleep and awake, and neither hurt and i was fine afterward. I just had to lay still for a few hours and then i got to go home the same day each time. With asleep, they gave me general ani and i was asleep the entire time and woke up in a hospital bed and watched tv for a bunch of hours then went home. With awake, they numbed the area and i just layed there, when it was over i layed there and watched tv for a bunch of hours then went home. but just remember to take it easy for a day or two afterwards.
Hugs and prayers,                      If it was easy being a lupie, 
   ~Suzanne~                                      the whole world would be one     
diagnosed in May '95 with lupus nephritis, hypertension, hypothyroidism, avascular necrosis (knee) '98, kidney transplant April '06, pseudo-cerebral tumor '07, AVN ankles and hips '07
prednisone, cellcept, prograf, lopressor, allopurinol, synthroid, diamox, OsCal +D, lunesta, celexa, percocet for pain

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 206
   Posted 4/13/2008 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
I had a kidney biopsy last year.  I went to the hospital at about 7am and they checked me in and got an IV running and about 45 minutes before they came to get me they gave me a valium to take the nervous edge off.  In the operating room I was awake and they administered some heavy drugs into my IV and I went from sober to slobbering drunk in about 20 seconds :) haha.  Anyways they took 3 sample which I cranked my head around to watch and didn't feel a thing.  This taking all of 10 mintues in the operating room.  I had to order something to eat when I got back to my room and then lay on my back for about 4 hours.  They checked my blood after that to make sure things were okay and I was out of the hospital by 3 pm.  I went to work the next day and was just advised not to lift over 20 pounds or so for about a week.  I felt like maybe someone had kidney punched me for a few days but the procedure was not horrible at all.  Good luck.
"Challenges make you discover things about yourself you never really knew."
SLE and Class II Lupus Nephritis

lupus fighter
Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 50
   Posted 4/14/2008 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had two done. It really is not so bad as long as you are not flaring during the time you have it done. I was in the hospital and I was already extremely sick so my recovery was a bit difficult. My advice would be to consider how your body is doing at the time of procedure. You will have some pain after but not as much if you are not flaring and already having some issues because of the lupus.
Loving Life 
Diagnosis Lupus Sle 2006, Fibro 2006, Nephirits 2007, anemia 2005,  Hypertension 2006.
Plaquenil 400 mg, Prednisone 15 mg, Cell Cept 3000 mg, Diovan 320, Procardia 120 Mg, Fosonopril 80 mg, Iron supplement, Calcuim W/ Vitamin D, Folic Acid, Tramadol

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