why is a bone marrow biopsy done
Read about bone marrow tests, what they are and what happens when you have one. P
You have this testPto check whether there are cancer cells in your bone marrow. Bone marrow is spongy tissue and fluid that is inside your bones. It makes your blood cells. A doctor or specialist nurse removes a sample of bone marrow cells or anParea of bone marrow in one piece. This is usually from your hip. PDoctors can thenPlook at the cells or tissuePunder a microscope. You have the test in the outpatient department of the hospital. P You have a local anaesthetic to numb the area. This means you are awake, but the test shouldn't be painful. Bone marrow tests are usually done for cancers that are most likely to affect the bone marrow, such as: But it can be done for any type of cancer if your doctor thinks your bone marrow could contain cancer cells, or needs to rule this out for any reason. There are 2 main types of bone marrow test a bone marrow aspiration and a bone marrow trephine biopsy. Aspiration means the doctor or nurse sucks some bone marrow cells up into a syringe. A bone marrow trephine means that they remove a 1 or 2cm core of bone marrow in one piece. You usually have both of these tests done at the same time. They give some of the same information to the doctor, but there are differences. The bone marrow trephinePshows the structure of the bone marrow inside the bone, whereas the aspiration takes just the bone marrow cells. Your doctor will ask you to sign a consent form once they have given you information about the procedure. This is a good time to ask any questions you have. You usually lie on your side with your knees tucked up into your chest. Your doctor or nurse cleans the area with some antiseptic fluid. This can feel cold. You have a local anaesthetic injection into the skin over the biopsy site to numb it. When this has worked your doctor or nurse puts the needle in through the skin. It goes into thePbone, where the marrow is. Your doctor or nurse sucks a small amount of liquid bone marrow into the needle, using a syringe. You feel a pulling sensation when they start drawing the bone marrow cells out but some people have a sudden, sharp pain.
The doctor or nurse will take this needle out and put the second one in if you are having a trephine biopsy as well. The aim is to get a small amount of marrowPout in one piece. The needle going into the hip bone can be painful but this only lasts a short time. The whole test takes 15 to 20 minutes. Some people prefer to have some type of sedative before the test so that they are a bit drowsy. PSome hospitals may use gas and air (Entonox) to help relax you instead of sedation. PChildren and teenagers often have sedation for this type of test. If you have a sedative, you need to stay at the hospital for a few hours until it has worn off. And you need someone with you so that you don't have to go home on your own. You can go home that day if you are feeling well enough. You have a dressing over the site, which you should keep on for 24 hours. If you notice any bleeding apply pressure to the area. If it doesn't stop, contact the hospital. After the test, your hip might ache for a couple of days. You may need some mild painkillers such as paracetamol to take at home. A bone marrow test is very safe and any risks are small. P During the procedure there is a very small risk of damage to nearby structures but this is very rare. PP Some people have a small amount of bleeding from the areaPwhere the needle went in. If you are taking medicinesPto thin your blood, such as warfarin, you might need to stop taking these before the test. Your doctor will advise you when and how long to stop taking them. You will have a dressing over the area which you should keep on for 24 hours. If you notice any bleeding, apply pressure to the area. If it doesn't stop, contact the hospital. There is a small risk of getting an infection in the wound. Tell your doctor if you have a temperature or if the area becomes red and sore. P Waiting for test resultsPcan be a very worrying time. You can contact yourPspecialist nurse if you are finding it hard to cope. You can also get in touch with them to ask for information if you need to. It can also help to talk to a close friend or relative about how you feel. We have more information on tests,Ptreatment and support if you have been diagnosed with cancer.
Bone marrow is the soft, spongy tissue inside most bones. Immature blood cells develop into red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in the bone marrow. Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy are usually done together. A bone marrow aspiration removes a small amount of fluid and cells from the bone marrow. A bone marrow biopsy removes a small amount of bone along with fluid and cells from the bone marrow. The fluid, cells or bone removed during these procedures is examined under a microscope. diagnose blood or bone marrow cancers, such as leukemia or multiple myeloma collect a sample of bone marrow for medical procedures, such as stem cell transplant These procedures are done in a clinic or hospital and usually take 2030 minutes. Most people can go home after they are done. Very rarely, people will need to stay in the hospital. Where doctors or nurse practitioners do a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy depends on your age. In adults, doctors or nurse practitioners usually take a bone marrow aspirate from the top of a hip bone (called the iliac crest) or sometimes from the breast bone (called the sternum). In babies and young children, doctors may take a bone marrow aspirate below the knee from the front of the lower leg bone (called the tibia). A bone marrow biopsy is always taken from the hip bone. You will lie on one side or on your stomach on a table or bed. The healthcare team may give you medicine to help you relax. They will use an antiseptic solution to clean the skin in the area where the needle will go in and will place a sterile drape around the area, leaving only a small area of skin showing. They will inject a local anesthetic to numb the area where the needle will go into the skin. You may feel some burning or stinging when the anesthetic is injected. Both the aspiration and biopsy procedures are usually done at the same time. A bone marrow aspiration is usually done first, followed by a bone marrow biopsy. For a bone marrow aspiration, the doctor or nurse practitioner passes a special needle through the skin and bone into the bone marrow. A syringe is then attached to the special needle and a small amount of bone marrow fluid, which looks like blood, is withdrawn.
You may feel pain, but it lasts only a few seconds. Sometimes, several aspirations are taken for different tests. For a bone marrow biopsy, the doctor or nurse practitioner uses a special needle that twists into the bone. This needle removes a small core of solid bone tissue and marrow. You will feel pressure when the biopsy needle passes into the bone and as the needle and biopsy are being removed from the bone. P The doctor or nurse practitioner removes the needle after collecting the sample. Samples are sent to a lab to be examined under a microscope. The doctor or nurse will clean the area with alcohol, put a bandage over it and apply pressure to the area for a few minutes to stop the bleeding. You will stay lying down for 2030 minutes after the biopsy. When the bleeding has stopped and you can leave the clinic or hospital, you may go back to your normal activities. Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy usually dont cause serious problems. Some people may have the following side effects where the needle was inserted: you have certain types of cancer, such as leukemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) or Hodgkin lymphoma These procedures can also tell the healthcare team whether bacteria or fungi have caused an infection in the bone marrow. Your doctor will decide if you need more tests, procedures, follow-up care or additional treatments. Preparing children before a test or procedure can lower anxiety, increase cooperation and help them develop coping skills. Preparation includes explaining to children what will happen during the test, including what they will see, feel and hear. Most children will be given a general anesthetic before bone marrow aspiration and biopsy. It is given through an intravenous (IV) line placed in a vein in the childs hand. Sometimes an older child can have a local anesthetic and sedation. The healthcare team will put a numbing cream on the biopsy area before the test is done. The preparation for bone marrow aspiration and biopsy depends on the age and experience of the child. Find out more age-specific information on.
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