What is a Bone Marrow Biopsy?

January 18, 2012

Like any other type of biopsy, a bone marrow biopsy is a surgical procedure that is used to take out sample tissue from within the body for analysis, detection and diagnosis of certain types of conditions.

Before getting into the details of a bone marrow biopsy procedure, it is important to understand the role that the bone marrow plays in the human body. Located in part liquid and part semi solid form within the bones, the marrow is in charge of creating red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. As a result, the bone marrow plays an extremely important role in the well being of an individual. A bone marrow biopsy procedure is performed in order to check on the normal functioning of the bone marrow and to make sure that it is producing the right quantities of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The bone marrow biopsy results are essential in detecting the presence of a number of serious conditions within the body that stem from or cause abnormal bone marrow functioning such as leukemia, anemia and leucopenia.

Bone marrow biopsy side effects are usually not encountered but can develop as a result of some oversight or the other. Pain after the procedure is a common side effect, but will eventually wear off with time as the site starts to heal. Infection and persistent bleeding are risks that should not occur and, in the event if they do develop, should be informed to the doctor as soon as possible. There is also the chance of the patient reacting to local anesthetic, so it is important to inform the doctor of any allergies that you might have prior to the procedure.

In a bone marrow biopsy procedure the doctor will take a sample of the bone marrow tissue from the hip bone of an adult or the shin bone of a child. The targeted area will first be cleaned with iodine or some other antiseptic before a local anesthetic is administered to subdue the pain.

A needle attached to a syringe will then be inserted deep into the hip bone to extract the sample tissue and despite the fact that the patient is going to be under anesthetic at this time, he or she is still likely to feel a bit of pushing and pulling in the area during the procedure. Bone marrow biopsy recovery is usually completed in a couple of days, although you will also be advised to avoid getting the area wet for a period of about 48 hours.

Submitted by N on January 18, 2012 at 10:39

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