Bone Marrow Transplant Procedure and What To Expect

The bone marrow transplant procedure changes unhealthy blood cells with healthy ones. The blood-forming cells are the immature cells growing into white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells. These are present deep in the soft tissues on the bones, known as bone marrow. After maturing they leave the bone marrow and get into the bloodstream.

Various procedures are followed before the transplant, you get chemotherapy and radiation for destroying the marrow and diseased cells. You get healthy cells afterward.

BMT procedure is not surgery. The new cells enter the bloodstream with an intravenous (IV) tube or catheter. It is like medicine or blood getting through an IV. From there no, the cells find their way into the marrow. It can take months or years for BMT recovery.

From Where Do Healthy Cells Come From?

Healthy cells that form blood in a transplant arrive from 3 sources:

  • Cord blood: Blood from the placenta and umbilical cord is collected after the baby is born.
  • Peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC): Blood-forming cells from blood circulation
  • Bone marrow: The spongy tissue inside your bones.

Reasons For Bone Marrow Transplant Procedure

The bone marrow transplant donor procedure is performed when the bone marrow of a person is not healthy enough to properly function. It can be an outcome of a disease, chronic infections, or past cancer treatments. Here are some reasons for having a stem cell transplant.

  • Cancers affecting the bone marrow, like lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma.
  • Damaged bone marrow because of chemotherapy
  • Aplastic anemia is a disorder where the bone marrow doesn’t make new blood cells
  • Damaged bone marrow because of chemotherapy
  • Sickle cell anemia, an inherited blood disorder causing misshapen red blood cells
  • Thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder where the body makes the abnormal type of hemoglobin, a vital part of your red blood cells.

Bone Marrow Transplant Types

Two main bone marrow transplant types are there. The used type is based on the reason for a transplant.

Allogeneic Transplants – These transplants use the cells from a donor. In this case, the donor should have a genetic match. Generally, the best choice is a compatible close relative, but the donor registry also has a compatible donor match.

Allogenic treatment is needed if you’ve got damaged marrow cells. But it has a higher chance of increasing complications, like GVHD. You’ll also have to put on medications for suppressing the immune system so that the body stops attacking any new cells. It increases the chances of disease.

Autologous Treatment – In Autologous transplants, the person uses their own stem cells. They generally involve cell harvesting before they damage therapy cells such as radiation or chemotherapy. After the treatment process is done, you return the cells to the body.

This transplant isn’t available always. It is usable for healthy bone marrow. However, you significantly lessen the risks of serious complications like GVHD

Things To Expect After a Bone Marrow Transplant

The bone marrow transplant success depends on how well the recipient and donor match genetically. Sometimes, finding a good match becomes very hard, especially in the case of unrelated donors.

The engraftment is monitored regularly. It completes between 10 and 28 days post initial transplant. The very first engraftment sign is rising the count of white blood cells. It shows that new blood cells start forming after the transplant.

The bone marrow transplant recovery time is three months. However, it can also take more than a year for a full recovery. The recovery process is based on many factors, like:

The Treatment Methods

  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Donor match
  • Performance of transplant

A vast possibility is there that some transplant symptoms you get are left with you for your entire life. After treatment, you’ll get medicines to suppress the immune system so it doesn’t overdrive. It lessens the chances of the body attacking the transplanted cells and the transplanted cells attacking other body cells.

Contact Us:

Gift of Life Marrow Registry

Address: 800 Yamato Rd suite 101 Boca Raton, FL 33487
Phone: (800) 962-7769