Monday, September 1, 2008

Hands offa my kidneys!

The evil kidney biopsy is on my list of 15 least medical procedures, along with catheter and root canal. the thing about kidney biopsy is that while your doc may tell you it is necessary, many other docs will tell you it is not. and according to whatever book it was i was reading the first time i was *told* I *needed* a biopsy, these biopsies are a matter of debate among docs as to whether they are necessary and whether they even provide any useful information.

As far as I can tell, there's no real upside to getting a biopsy.
However, there are definite downsides. There are major arteries in the kidneys. if they happen to hit one while rooting around trying to snip a few pieces of tissue off your kidney, you can have a dangerous amount of internal bleeding. if you are a bleeder, like me, you may spend all day in the hospital receiving anti-coagulants until it's safe enough for them to do the test (my 2nd biopsy). or they may choose to instead play it safe and do an open biopsy (cut you open) so they can see what they're doing better. if this is the case, you will be put under general (complete) anesthesia, intubated, both of which are not without risk, in a hospital, which is teeming with germs. then you may (as i did) get infected and have green puss oozing out your side. in my case I'm allergic to so many antibiotics i decided to kill it off myself by taking 60 garlic pills a day. in the summer. with no air conditioning. (on the other hand, i was completely safe from vampire attacks). (my first biopsy).

both times i was told it might be a class 4, whatever that means, and both time i was told there was "not enough tissue."
i really suspect this test at best is a useless exercise, and at worst an invasive and unnecessary way to make money off the backs of and at significant risk to patients.
There will not be a 3rd biopsy on my kidneys.
they can get the info i need from urinalysis and blood draws.