Preparing for a kidney biopsy

You and your child will meet with your doctor and the healthcare professionals involved in the kidney biopsy. They will make sure that your child is prepared for the procedure, and provide you with the information you need.

When to come into the hospital

Your child will need to come in for a whole day, and sometimes overnight, for a biopsy. Your child will need some tests before the biopsy, which will take place on the day of the biopsy or at an earlier visit. 


Your child will not be able to take some medicines before the procedure. These include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and aspirin. Your doctor or nurse will give you more information.


Your doctor will ask whether your child has any allergies.

Avoiding food and drink

Your child will need to stop eating or drinking anything for some time before the biopsy. Your doctor or nurse will give you more information.

Play specialist

Some hospitals have a play specialist, who may be able to meet with your child. They will use dolls and other toys to help your child understand and feel less worried about the procedure.

What to bring to the biopsy

You may like to bring some of your child’s favourite toys, games and books. If your child is spending the night in hospital, you will need to bring their nightclothes, toiletries and a change of clothes. Speak with your doctor or nurse about any arrangements to stay near your child.


Blood tests

Blood tests will confirm whether your child is well enough for the kidney biopsy, and that he or she has the right type of biopsy. These tests may be a few days before the procedure, or on the day of the admission. A small amount of blood will be taken from a blood vessel, with a needle and syringe, and tested in a laboratory.

  • One blood test is used to find out whether the blood is clotting properly. Clots form in the blood to heal a wound, such as a cut in the skin, and it is important to know that your child’s blood will clot as expected after a biopsy.
  • A full blood count counts the number of different types of blood cells, including platelets, which help blood to clot (thicken) to stop bleeding. If there is a low number of platelets, there is a higher risk of bleeding.
  • In a group and save, a small sample of your child’s blood is stored to be used in the rare event that your child needs a blood transfusion (if they have heavy bleeding). The hospital will be able to find out your child’s blood group, so they can get the right type of blood from a donor.

Blood pressure

Your child’s blood pressure will be checked. It is important that your child’s blood pressure is in a safe range before the biopsy. If it is too high, the procedure may be delayed until another day. Your child may be given medicines to control their blood pressure.

Urine test

A urine test can check for substances in a sample of your child’s urine. A dipstick will be dipped into the urine – this is a strip with chemical pads that change colour depending on what substances are in the urine.

More information about tests and diagnosis

  • Tests and diagnosis

    Find out more detail about some of the tests used to diagnose or investigate kidney conditions.

  • Blood tests

    In a blood test, a small sample of your child’s blood will be taken from the body, using a needle. This sample will be looked at by specialists in a laboratory.

  • Urine tests

    Your child may have urine tests at the clinic or hospital to help diagnose a condition or find out how well a treatment is working.