What is Bone Marrow examination?
Bone marrow examination consists of Bone marrow aspiration and Bone marrow biopsy procedures. Sometimes, either of the procedures is done alone. In this procedure liquid part and some solid part of the bone marrow of the larger bones like iliac spine, sternum are collected and examined by expert doctors. Bone marrow biopsy and bone marrow aspiration can show whether your bone marrow is healthy and making normal amounts of blood cells. Doctors use bone marrow biopsy and aspiration to diagnose and monitor blood and marrow diseases, and sometimes, some systemic disorders.
Is this procedure painful?
Yes. As this procedure uses a special type of needle, it is painful. However, this pain is subtle and bearable
Is it necessary to anaesthetize the area of procedure?
No. But, most of the time, a local anaesthesia at the site of needle insertion is given to minimize the pain during the procedure.
How much time goes in this procedure?
The procedure time is about 10-20 minutes. But, registration process, patient preparation may take about 30-40 minutes.
What precautions should be taken before this procedure?
Bone marrow exams are often performed on an outpatient basis in hospitals, clinics, and doctors offices and no special preparation is needed. Bone marrow exams aren't always painful, if you're feeling anxious or worried, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may give you a sedative medication in addition to a local anesthesia at the site where the needle is inserted. If you've ever had an allergic reaction to any type of anesthetic or have become ill after anesthesia, inform it to your doctor before the procedure. Also tell your doctor if you're pregnant and if you are on any medications.
What care should be taken after this procedure?
After your bone marrow exam, a smaller bandage will be placed at the site of the procedure. Keep the bandage on and dry for 24 hours. Don't take a shower or bath, and don't swim or use a hot tub. After 24 hours, it's OK to remove the bandage and get the aspiration and biopsy area wet.
You’ll be asked to lie on your back for 10 to 15 minutes and apply pressure to the site. You can then leave and return to normal activities as soon as you feel up to it.
A small amount of bleeding is normal. Normally, applying direct pressure on the site for 15-20 minutes stops the bleeding. But if bleeding soaks through the bandage or doesn't stop with direct pressure, contact your doctor. If you have any other symptoms like fever, increasing pain at the site, swelling, etc., contact your doctor.
You may feel some tenderness for few days after your bone marrow exam. Ask your doctor about taking a pain reliever. Applying a cold compress to the procedure site may relieve pain. Light exercise, such as walking, can also help.
What happens after the bone marrow procedure is done?
The bone marrow samples are sent to a laboratory for analysis. At the lab, a pathologist or hematologist will evaluate the marrow samples to see if it's making enough healthy blood cells and to look for abnormal cells. Most of the time, the enough information can be obtained to confirm or rule out a disease, to find the disease staging, or to find the effect of medicine in the diseases. In some cases, you may need follow-up tests. Generally the bone marrow examination report is ready within a few days, but it may take longer. Ask your doctor when you can expect to receive the results of your bone marrow exam.
Is it mandatory to give consent for this procedure?
Yes. According to the guidelines of medical establishment, it is mandatory to have a written consent for this procedure. If the patient is less than 18 years of age then one of the parents or guardian can give consent.