Is any of your family members scheduled to go through a bone marrow transplant? Are you wondering what the entire process is all about? A bone marrow transplant helps in replacing damaged or destroyed stem cells with healthier cells. With this, a person’s body can produce an adequate amount of white blood cells, red blood cells, or platelets that prevent anemia or bleeding disorders, infections, etc. This article tells you details about the process.
What is meant by Bone Marrow Transplant?
It is a form of medical procedure which is typically performed to substitute a damaged or almost destroyed bone marrow. The process involves the transplantation of blood stem cells that go to the bone marrow to generate new blood cells helping in the growth of new marrow.
What are its different types?
In these transplants, a person’s own stem cells are used. Before beginning with the damaging therapy, these transplants involve harvesting the cells. Once the treatment is over, the cells are returned to the patient’s body again. However, this kind of transplant is not always feasible. This can be done only if the patient possesses healthy bone marrow.
These transplants require a donor to take the cells from. An important thing should be kept in mind here. In cases of such transplants, the donor must be a close genetic match. For this, a compatible relative is the most appropriate and preferred choice. You can also find genetic matches from a donor registry.
The success of such transplants depends on the close match of the donor cells with that of the patient’s. The closer the match, the more effective the transplant is.
How to get ready for Bone Marrow Transplant?
Before transplantation, the patient goes through several tests to find out the type of bone marrow cells required. In some cases, radiation or chemotherapy can also be given to a patient to destroy all the cancerous marrow cells before getting new stem cells.
Just a few days before the transplant, the patient will be given a tube-like structure known as a central venous catheter. This will be attached to a vein in the patient’s chest. This will be used to take blood and give medications. This tube will remain until the treatment is completed.
What is the procedure of Bone Marrow Transplant?
The process will start with conditioning. Generally, this includes a high dose of chemotherapy for about 10 days. This may or may not be accompanied by radiation. This process differs from person to person and depends largely on the overall health condition of the person undergoing treatment.
Conditioning promotes the growth of new cells in the blood cancer bone marrow transplant. After this, the patient goes under complete rest for a few days.
After this, the patient receives new blood stem cells with the help of the central venous catheter. As soon as the new cells arrive at the marrow, they grow into RBCs, WBCs, and platelets. This process of engraftment can take around 2-4 weeks.
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Gift of Life Marrow Registry Address: 800 Yamato Rd suite 101 Boca Raton, FL Phone: (800) 962-7769