Bone marrow is the spongy element available inside most large bones in the body. The various cells that make blood are produced in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the site where red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets are formed. Other than biopsy, an aspiration (the sampling of liquid generally) is also done at the same time.
A bone marrow aspiration and biopsy procedure is conducted for several reasons.
The test enables the physician to analyze your bone marrow performance. It may aid in the diagnosis of reduced levels of red blood cells (anemia), reduced levels of white blood cells (leukopenia), reduces levels of platelets (thrombocytopenia), or increased level of these kinds of blood cells.
The doctor can also analyze the cause of some tumors, infections, or determine at what stage the disease, such as lymphoma, has reached, and evaluate the effectiveness of chemotherapy or other bone marrow effective drugs.
Bone marrow biopsies and aspirations can be conducted in doctor's clinics, outpatient clinics, and even in the hospitals. The procedure may stretch from 10-20 minutes.
You will have to sign a declaration form prior to the procedure. You will be explained the alternatives along with the expected risks and complications of this Biopsy.
Possible risks include:
The wound site may bleed for some time hence some pressure is applied for a couple of minutes. A sterile bandage is then applied.
If you are recommended sedative drugs, you will keep feeling drowsy for sometime. After the local anesthetic wears off in the next few hours, you may feel some uneasiness at the biopsy location. Your doctor will recommend you some pain drugs.
You have to keep the bandage on for 48 hours, and after this it can be removed.
You will feel a sharp sting during the injection of numbing medicine. You may experience a short, sharp pain when the liquid (aspirate) is withdrawn.
The biopsy needle may also generate a short, generally dull pain. Since the inner part of the bone cannot be numbed, this test may generate some uneasiness. However, it is not observed by all the patients.
The samples withdrawn from your bone marrow will be sent to a laboratory for the pathologist for evaluation. Different tests are conducted along with testing the bone marrow facilitating a microscope. The outcome of these tests will generally be delivered in a few days. Your doctor will instruct you regarding the further follow-up.
You should consult your physician if you witness signs of persistent redness, continued bleeding, worsening pain, fever or if you have other problems after this procedure.