A kidney biopsy involves taking one or more tiny pieces (samples) of your kidney to look at with special microscopes. The microscopes make it possible to see the samples in greater detail.
Percutaneous (through the skin) biopsy: a needle placed through the skin that lies over the kidney and guided to the right place in the kidney, usually with the help of ultrasound.
Open biopsy: the kidney sample is taken directly from the kidney during surgery. The kidney sample is then sent to a doctor (pathologist) who looks at it with microscopes. He or she will check for any signs of disease.