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Biopsy!!

Hello All,Hope you all are doing fine . My consultant informed me after 3M of my transplant that they will do a routine biopsy which is done for everyone . The purpose was to detect any complications beforehand with kidney and also to put me on juss two immunosuppresants ( Tacrolimus and prednisone)rather than 3 .But I was very scared when I heard about it . As I got UTI twice so drs were also not convinced to go ahead with biopsy on me . hence they reduced my medicines without it .Today I read an article which says that I should get biopsy done in 3M And 12M . Im really confused now . Any advice would be welcome in regards to Kidney Biopsy ??Thank you

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  • It depends on where you got your transplant. My husband got his at UPMC, Pittsburgh PA. They do routine biopsy at 3mos, and 12mos, to check for BK virus. After that I think only as needed now for him, unless Cr starts elevating past his baseline, which is around 2.3-2.5. His doctors feel he is stable and are not concerned about the level. His biopsy showed no sign of rejection.
  • Hi,

    I am 1+ year of kidney transplant and never did Biopsy as it is not required until Doctor founds abnormal reports.

    It also varies on transplant team by team, how they want to monitor functioning kidney.  It is better to stay away from hurting kidney if all is well.

  • I'm another recipient who's center does not do routine biopsies. I have had a couple though, for a variety of reasons, and I had no problems. You do lose a few cells when they do the biopsy, but I've never noticed any issues with my labs afterwards. It's just a pain-in-the-butt procedure. A friend of mine got routine biopsies in the beginning and she had no problems either.

  • My tx center (University of Wisconsin-Madison) does not do routine biopsies of transplanted kidneys.  I have an acquaintance who goes to U of Washington, and they do.  They screwed it up and she ended up with a massive blood clot in the new kidney.  Her creatinine now stands at 3, and while it is not increasing, I believe they put her back on their waitlist.

  • I have had my transplant for 6 wonderful years.  All of my numbers have been good.  I am on  Prograph and Cellcept  generic.  I have been to two centers--transferred to one closer to home-- and no mention of a biopsy  I have had UTIs in the past.  I have found for me the cranberry supplements that you get in the vitamin section work well to keep  me infection free. I get mime from Swanson Vitamins. I take one in the morning and two at night.  They are cheaper and work as well.  You have to take antibiotics to get rid of the infection first though. The great thing about this web site is we share our personal experiences so you can ask questions and be informed when talking to your doctor.  Wishing you much success with your wonderful gift. 

    • Thank you
  • Well that's something new i hear. Why would anyone do a biopsy if the reports are ok?? I always saw people getting biopsy when they have elevated numbers and neph is not sure of the cause. Boss ask your TX teams , why they want this. I am 1 year post TX with no biopsy.

    • Thank you
    • This is old thinking, like expecting a rejection in the first few months.  Experience has taught centers to "leave well enough alone," and biopsies are performed because of blood work results and not as routine anymore.   Eventually most Tx centers update their protocols.

  • I have had two separate nephrologists want me to have a biopsy. One was pre-transplant and one is my post-transplant nephrologist who is the head of the Transplant Center. Because of  my own extensive research(and yes, fear) about biopsies, I told the first one no(because the biopsy would not have changed anything about how I was being treated.)  I was fighting to not have to go on dialysis( as my son was tested as my living donor) and I just felt with a weird sixth sense, not to have invasive trauma done to one of my kidneys.  I strongly talked my way  out of the second one based on several factors I brought to the discussion table. Those plugs taken out of your kidney become scare tissue however small the plugs may be.  Personally, I also do not allow doctors to expect me to have something major done using the reason "because it is protocol."   Both refusals turned out to be "best decisions" for me.  Ask tough questions beginning with "Why?" As in "Why are you doing a biopsy if my key lab numbers do not indicate there is a problem going on?" Then ask, "What are the alternatives?" Do your research! My neph was amazed at how much I knew about kidney biopsies. You have to be your own advocate for your kidney transplant health. You'll figure out what is right for you to do. I had my TP on June 13, 2014.

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