A kidney biopsy is a minimally-invasive procedure performed to remove a small portion of the kidney tissue for laboratory testing. A kidney biopsy may be done to assess the extent of damage caused by kidney diseases. A kidney biopsy may be recommended by the doctor if there is blood in the urine, excessive protein in the urine and other signs of deteriorating kidney function. Kidney biopsies are usually performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning an overnight hospital stay will not be required. The patient is usually given an intravenous drip, with optional sedatives. The doctor uses an ultrasound to visualise the exact location of the biopsy. The location is marked and a local anaesthetic is applied. A micro-incision is made at the site of the biopsy and the needle is guided through the incision into the kidney. Once the tissue sample is collected, it is sent to pathology for analysis.
A kidney transplant is a surgical procedure to graft a healthy donor kidney into a patient with compromised kidney function. The donor organ may be retrieved from a deceased (brain-dead) donor or from a live donor. If the patient chooses to go with a live donor, the donor must be in good health, have two viable kidneys (one for donation and one for the donor’s continued use), be a good match for the patient and be able to withstand the stress of a surgery without any foreseeable complications. The transplant surgery is performed in two parts – retrieval and transplant. During the retrieval, the surgeon carefully harvests one kidney from the donor. The blood vessels to the kidney are then expertly grafted and blood flow is restored.
PERMCATH (permanent dialysis catheter insertion)
A PermCath is a long-flexible tube inserted permanently into a vein in the neck or the groin, to facilitate easy dialysis treatment. The tube is left in place permanently, as the patient likely requires dialysis treatment 3-4 times a week. The tube tunnels beneath the skin and is exposed at the site of attachment to the dialysis machine. PermCaths are inserted when the patient requires multiple dialysis sessions over a period of more than 2 weeks. The PermCath has lower chances of becoming infected with long-term repeated usage, when compared to a temporary dialysis catheter.
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