In most cases where rejection is suspected, a kidney biopsy is necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
After applying numbing medicine, a needle is guided through the abdominal wall and into the kidney to remove a tiny piece of kidney tissue. By looking at the tissue under the microscope, the doctors can tell if rejection is the source of the problem.
If a biopsy is done, your child will need to stay in the hospital to rest in bed for at least eight to 10 hours afterwards. If a rejection episode is confirmed, it will be treated with a strong anti-rejection medication (usually given through some type of IV) for three to 10 days, depending on which medication is given. Sometimes this may require a few additional days in the hospital.
After the rejection has been treated, the treatment team may change one or more of your child's immunosuppressant medications to help prevent future rejection episodes from occurring. As discussed earlier, the best way for you to minimize your child's risk for rejection is to ensure that your child:
- Takes all of his medications each day as directed
- Follows the transplant team's recommendations for follow-up visits and lab work