Bone marrow puncture and biopsy

WHAT IS IT?

Bone marrow puncture and biopsy are diagnostic procedures by which a portion of the bone marrow is taken and sent to the laboratory. They are always performed in a single act and provide detailed information on the condition of bone marrow and blood cells.  Bone marrow is a soft tissue found in bone cavities.  The procedure takes 30 minutes.

INDICATIONS / WHY IS IT PERFORMED?

• To detect diseases or conditions that affect the bone marrow or surrounding bone.
• To determine the stage of certain diseases, monitor the effects and the success of therapy.
• To investigate disorders in iron metabolism.
• To investigate the cause of elevated temperature (unclear febrile state).

This procedure is used in the diagnosis of the following diseases:

• anemia.
• conditions in which there are too many/too few blood cells (leukopenia, leukocytosis, thrombocytopenia, thrombocytosis, pancytopenia, polycythemia).
• cancer of the blood cells or bone marrow (leukemia, imphomas or multiple myeloma).
• cancer that has spread to the bone marrow.

HOW IS IT PERFORMED?

• A puncture is performed first, followed by a bone marrow biopsy.
• The procedure is most often performed under local anesthesia. You will be aware all the time.  The procedure can also be performed in short-term general intravenous anesthesia, when you will not be aware of the procedure.
• It is performed by making a small incision in the skin, and inserting a hollow needle through the incision that passes through the bone to the bone marrow. With the help of a syringe located at one end of the needle, the doctor draws in a fluid portion of the bone marrow. At that moment, you may experience brief pain or burning. Several bone marrow samples can be taken. After performing the procedure, the doctor will apply pressure to the part of the bone from which the bone marrow sample was taken and place a bandage over it.

POTENTIAL RISKS

• This is a safe procedure and complications rarely occur.
• Some of the possible complications are: bleeding (especially in people with low platelet count); infection (especially in people with weakened immune systems); discomfort at the biopsy site; puncture of the sternum.

PREPARATION

• Special preparation is usually not required.
• Tell your doctor about the medicines you are taking (some medicines increase the risk of bleeding after a bone marrow biopsy).

AFTER THE PROCEDURE

• If the procedure is performed under local anesthesia, you can soon return to your normal daily activities if you feel well.
• If the procedure is performed under short-term general intravenous anesthesia, it is recommended that you do not operate the motor vehicle for 24 hours after the procedure. Seven days after the procedure, you may experience discomfort or mild pain at the bone marrow sampling site.
• A bandage should be placed at the biopsy site, which should remain 24 hours after the biopsy. During this time, it is forbidden to wet the bandage (you must not bathe or shower).
• Contact the Bel Medic team if: you cannot stop bleeding from the biopsy site, have a fever or temperature, or have redness or swelling at the biopsy site for an extended period of time after the procedure. Avoid strenuous physical activity for the next two days

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