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Bone Marrow Biopsy

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BONE MARROW BIOPSY DEFINITION

A bone marrow biopsy is a test that entails taking a small sample of marrow to be extracted from your bone. There are also times when a bone marrow aspiration (extracting the liquid portion of the marrow) is needed to be performed along with the bone marrow biopsy (extracting the solid portion of the marrow).

BONE MARROW BIOPSY PURPOSE

A bone marrow biopsy is best utilized when a doctor needs detailed information about the condition of your blood cells and bone marrow. A healthcare professional may prescribe a bone marrow exam in order to monitor the treatment of a disease, check your metabolism and iron levels, or diagnose a condition involving your blood cells or bone marrow.

BONE MARROW BIOPSY RISKS

There are little to no risks when receiving a bone marrow biopsy. You have the low risks of tetanus and infection, but those are always risks when it comes to skin breakage. There's also the risk of the needle breaking upon entering your bone or you developing an allergic reaction to sedatives.

BONE MARROW BIOPSY PREPARATION REQUIRED

BONE MARROW BIOPSY
Image: BONE MARROW BIOPSY
You should first tell your doctor your medication history, particularly what medications you've taken and are currently taking that could skew the test results. If you're feeling particularly anxious, rest assured that you may be given a sedative to ease any imminent pain.

BONE MARROW BIOPSY PROCEDURE

During biopsy, solid bone marrow tissue is taken from you, and it uses a different type of needle... a large one specifically developed to collect a core or cylindrical sample of the marrow... when compared to bone marrow aspirations.

BONE MARROW BIOPSY COMPLICATIONS

Complications involving broken needles, infection, tetanus, and allergies to anesthetics may arise when performing this generally low risk procedure. You also run the risk of having bleeding complications, particularly prevalent with people who take anticoagulant medications or aspirin.

BONE MARROW BIOPSY SIDE EFFECTS

Bone marrow biopsies are harmless for the most part. However, it includes immediate but rare side effects like excessive bleeding (if you have a low platelet count), infection (if you have a weakened immune system), long-lasting discomfort, and complications regarding to sedation, which includes arrhythmia, nausea, and allergic reactions.

BONE MARROW BIOPSY RESULTS

After the marrow sample is sent to the lab, it'll take a couple of days or more before you get the results. It's the hematologist or pathologist who'll examine the health of the marrow from your given sample. They'll particularly evaluate whether or not it's making enough healthy blood cells while also searching for abnormal cells.
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