Bone Marrow Procedure
Your doctor has recommended a bone marrow evaluation. The bone marrow is a spongy material found in the center of most large bones. It is the factory where blood is made. In adults the best areas are the back part of the pelvic bones and the sternum. The different cells that make up blood are made in the bone marrow. Bone marrow produces red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. The test allows the doctor to evaluate your bone marrow function. It may aid in the diagnosis of abnormal numbers of red blood cells, abnormal white blood cells, or platelets.
The procedure is usually performed in our outpatient office. If you take anti-clotting medicines you should receive directions regarding stopping the medicines at the time the procedure is scheduled. You may take all of your other routine medications. Have a light meal before you arrive. You should arrive 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. The actual procedure takes about 1 hour. This includes taking your vital signs, talking to the clinician doing the procedure, reviewing the consent form, discussing possible risks and benefits of the procedure, and the actual procedure.
- You may have an IV placed. You will be given the option of receiving light sedation to help you relax. If you chose to receive IV sedation, you must be accompanied with a driver.
- You will be asked to position yourself on your abdomen or on your side depending on the site the clinician chooses to use.
- The site will be cleaned with a special solution. Sterile towels will be placed around the area.
- A local anesthetic will be used even if you decide on light sedation. Lidocaine will be injected at the site. It usually causes a burning sensation but after a few minutes the area becomes numb.
- For the bone marrow aspiration, a special needle is inserted into the pelvic bone. Then a syringe is attached to the needle and a small amount of liquid bone marrow is pulled into a syringe. There may be a sharp pulling sensation at that time but it lasts just a few seconds.
- A bone marrow biopsy is then usually performed using a somewhat larger needle. You may feel a pressure like discomfort at that time.
- The samples taken from your bone marrow will be sent to the laboratory and the pathologist for analysis. The tests results are usually available in 10-14 days.