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What Is A Bone Marrow Transplant?


A bone marrow transplant or a stem cell transplant is a procedure that infuses healthy blood stem cells into the body to replace the damaged or diseased bone marrow. The procedure cures some diseases and puts others into remission. Typical recovery time for a bone marrow transplant is about three months.

Bone marrow transplants may use cells from the patient’s own body (autologous transplant) or from a donor (allogeneic transplant).

When Is A Bone Marrow Transplant Recommended?

- Chronic infections, disease, or cancer treatments

- Aplastic anemia and sickle cell anemia

- Leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma

- Damaged bone marrow due to chemotherapy

- Congenital neutropenia

- Thalassemia

Preparing For A Bone Marrow Transplant

- Discuss medical condition, ongoing treatments, and medications

- Avail counseling

- Requires tests and procedures to assess the patient’s general health and the status of the medical condition

- Pretransplant procedures may include radiation or chemotherapy to kill all cancer cells before getting new stem cells

- In the case of autologous transplant, the patient may undergo a procedure called apheresis to collect blood stem cells

- In the case of allogeneic transplant, stem cells are gathered from the donor

Understanding Bone Marrow Transplant Results

The severity of side effects and the success of the transplant varies from person to person.

The state of the engraftment is regularly monitored between 10 and 28 days after the initial transplant. The first sign of engraftment is a rising white blood cell count. This shows that the transplant is starting to make new blood cells.

Successful transplants help patients to resume normal activities and lead a good quality of life.

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