HealthPartners home About Clinics & hospitals Insurance Pharmacy Healthy Living Blog Careers Contact
  •                         Everyday care                     Specialty care                                                              
  •                         Primary care                     Pediatricians                     Dentists                     Eye                     OB/GYN                     Orthopedics                     All doctors                                          
  •                         Primary care                     Urgent care                     Dental                     Eye                     Specialty centers                     Hospitals                     Pharmacy                     Lab                     Radiology                     virtuwell                     All locations                                          
Kidney treatment in the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin

Our team of board-certified nephrologists are experts at managing kidney conditions, and work closely with experts from our team of specialists providing you the best possible care.  

Knowing matters, especially when it comes to treatment options. With the latest in research, technology and education programs, we can help you find the best options for you. 

From the first appointment, we’re here with a personalized treatment plan and convenient, close to home options for managing your kidney health.

Our kidneys are at work 24 hours a day filtering waste and excess water from our blood. Healthy kidneys filter a half cup of blood every minute, but disease and damage can slow them down. Our board-certified nephrologists focus on addressing all aspects of kidney health by working closely together with nurses, medication management pharmacists, cardiologists and endocrinologists.

Because many kidney conditions are linked to other health conditions, such as diabetes, it’s important to have a coordinated team behind you. Together, we will help you understand, manage and improve your kidney condition through comprehensive care, close to home.

Our nephrology locations Kidney disorders and conditions we treat

We provide all the support you need to understand a new diagnosis and manage long-term illnesses. Some of the conditions we treat are:

Acute kidney failure

With acute kidney failure, also called acute kidney injury, kidneys become unable to filter blood properly. This can be caused by a condition or illness that reduces blood flow to the kidneys, such as a heart attack, infection or severe dehydration, as well as direct injury to the area or a blockage in the ureters, the slim tubes that pass urine from the kidneys to your bladder. Treatment involves addressing the underlying illness or injury that caused the kidney damage. In order to give your kidneys time to heal, we may prescribe medicines to balance the amount of fluid in your body and minerals in your blood. Sometimes temporary dialysis is needed. With early treatment, near-normal or normal kidney function can return.

Chronic kidney disease

This occurs when kidneys lose function over time due to another condition or disease, most commonly diabetes or high blood pressure. Our nephrologists partner with cardiologists, endocrinologists, dieticians, pharmacists and your primary care doctor to help you manage your condition and slow the progression of chronic kidney disease.

Living with chronic kidney disease can be overwhelming. From working with your insurance company, to understanding your prescriptions, to connecting you with one of our mental health experts if you’d like someone to talk to, we can help.

We’re also working together with our primary care doctors to identify signs of kidney disease during preventive care visits. By having one shared medical record, we’re able to better track signs and symptoms across your doctor visits, so we can help patients understand when they have higher risks for kidney disease. 

Chronic kidney infections (pyelonephritis)

As part of the urinary tract, your kidneys can be at risk when you get a urinary tract infection (UTI). If you suffer from chronic or recurrent UTI’s, more than three in one year, your kidneys can become vulnerable to repeat kidney infections and longer-term kidney damage. 

Other conditions we treat
  • Electrolyte abnormalities (hyperparathyroidism)
  • End-stage kidney disease
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Interstitial nephritis
  • Kidney cysts (Polycystic kidney disease)
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Renal artery stenosis
Diagnosis

The following tests are commonly used to diagnose kidney conditions:

  • Urinalysis – A comprehensive test of your urine to determine the acidity (pH level) and protein levels, as well as to look for evidence of infection and blood in your urine. This helps us understand whether you have a bladder or kidney infection, if you are at risk of developing a kidney stone or if you are in the beginning stages of kidney disease.
  • Albumin test – A urine test to check for Albumin, a protein present in urine when the kidneys are not filtering correctly. Healthy kidneys don’t let albumin pass from the blood into the urine.
  • Creatinine test – This is a blood test to measure the amount of creatinine in your blood. Creatinine is a waste product, so your kidneys filter it out of your blood. If the level of creatinine in your blood is high, it could indicate a problem with your kidneys.
  • GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate) – The results of your creatinine test, in addition to your age, race and gender, are used to calculate your GFR. The GFR tells us your level of kidney function.
  • Biopsy – During a biopsy, a small piece of kidney tissue is removed for examination under a microscope. This is done to look for inflammation, scarring or infection. A biopsy can also be used to show how quickly kidney disease is progressing. Our doctors will use general anesthesia as needed to help keep you comfortable during the procedure. 
Kidney treatments we offer

Learning your kidneys may not be working as well as they used to can by overwhelming, but you’re not alone. There are many steps we can take to protect, maintain and in some cases improve kidney function. 

Diabetes management

People with diabetes have a higher level of sugar in their blood, which can damage blood vessels in the kidneys. We work closely with our team of endocrinologists to monitor your blood glucose (sugar) levels and monitor for any changes in kidney function. Working together, we can help prevent kidney disease or delay its progression. 

Hypertension management

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, forces blood vessels in your kidneys to stretch so they can handle the more forceful flow of blood. Over time, these blood vessels weaken and less blood can reach your kidneys, potentially causing kidney disease. Frequent blood pressure checks and blood and urine tests can help your doctors manage your hypertension and screen for any kidney damage. 

Lifestyle changes

Making changes to your lifestyle is a powerful tool in managing chronic kidney disease, diabetes and hypertension. Your doctor may suggest switching to a low sodium diet, limiting alcohol consumption, quitting smoking, exercising and managing stress as treatment. We’re here to help you make lifestyle changes and can connect you with other members of our team to help, such as dieticians.

Medication therapy management

Chronic kidney disease can often be managed through medication in partnership with other treatments. Medication therapy management helps you get the most benefit out of your medications. Our doctors work closely with our pharmacists to prescribe medicines that are safe for limited kidney function and that won’t interact poorly with other medication you may be taking. Medications most commonly prescribed to people with chronic kidney disease are those that lower blood pressure, control blood glucose and lower cholesterol. Our pharmacists will continue to monitor your progress, provide education on any new prescriptions, keep track of your medication lists and help you feel in control of your treatment.

Dialysis

Chronic kidney disease can often be managed through medication in partnership with other treatments. Medication therapy management helps you get the most benefit out of your medications. Our doctors work closely with our pharmacists to prescribe medicines that are safe for limited kidney function and that won’t interact poorly with other medication you may be taking. Medications most commonly prescribed to people with chronic kidney disease are those that lower blood pressure, control blood glucose and lower cholesterol. Our pharmacists will continue to monitor your progress, provide education on any new prescriptions, keep track of your medication lists and help you feel in control of your treatment.

Kidney Transplant

In a kidney transplant, a healthy kidney from a deceased or living donor replaces one or both of your kidneys. We can support you at every point in the transplant process; from getting on the waiting list to helping you prepare for surgery. Our nephrologists also offer pre-transplant evaluation, post-transplant follow-up care and kidney donor evaluation. 

Getting started

If you’ve been referred to a nephrologist, your first step is to make an appointment.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Yes, our primary care doctors can perform routine tests if you are at a higher risk of kidney disease, like if you have hypertension or diabetes. Based on those results, our doctors can refer you to one of our kidney specialists if needed. Primary care doctors can also prescribe antibiotics and other medicines to treat kidney infections and kidney stones.

Kidney Smart is our education program for people in any stage of chronic kidney disease. Through the program, we provide education and support for patients recently diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Classes are conducted by trained health care professionals at multiple locations and at no cost to patients. 

We accept most health insurance plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CIGNA, HealthPartners, Medica, Medicare, PreferredOne and many others.

Not sure what your insurance covers? Call the number on the back of your card or our CareLine nurses any time at 612-339-3663 or 800-551-0859 for help looking at your options.

Don’t have your card in front of you? Here are the member services numbers to common insurance providers: