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Dialysis Catheter Placement & Renal Biopsy

Minor procedures, such as placement of catheters and biopsy of the kidney (renal biopsy), are often part of care for kidney conditions. The physicians at Indiana University Health offer a range of surgical and biopsy procedures to identify and treat various types of kidney disease.

A dialysis “access,” meaning an entry and exit point for the blood, is necessary in order for you to receive hemodialysis, a treatment for kidney failure (end-stage renal disease). In hemodialysis, we cycle your blood through a filter outside your body to remove waste and fluids. An access allows for higher blood flow than a typical intravenous line.

We create the access several weeks or months before you begin dialysis so you have time to heal. The access generally goes in the arm opposite your dominant one, meaning it goes in the left arm for most people.

In peritoneal dialysis, your abdominal lining, rather than a device outside the body, serves as a filter. For this treatment, you need a catheter in your abdomen. This tube allows dialysis fluid to flow into and out of your body.

In a kidney biopsy, we use a needle or a minor surgical procedure to take a tissue sample. We analyze the tissue in a laboratory to:

  • Determine the reason for a decline in kidney function
  • Find out whether a tumor is cancerous
  • Find the reason for protein or blood in your urine
  • Check the functioning of a transplanted kidney

Diagnosing and treating kidney problems involves many steps. The experts at IU Health perform a range of minor procedures to ensure thorough and effective care of kidney conditions. Catheter placement, kidney biopsy and other minor procedures usually take less than an hour, and in some cases, they can be done in an outpatient clinic. We explain your options and provide the procedure that best fits your needs and preferences. These operations are important steps as you manage your condition.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Dialysis Catheter Placement & Renal Biopsy Treatment Information

We provide several types of procedures, including:


Dialysis Catheter Placement & Renal Biopsy Locations & Physicians

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Dialysis Catheter Placement & Renal Biopsy Support Services

Information about minor procedures for diagnosis and treatment of kidney conditions is available from several organizations. Learn more at these websites: