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Updated on October 20, 2020

Bone Marrow Biopsy

A bone marrow biopsy is where a small sample of blood and bone marrow is taken from your bone (usually the hip bone) to test for certain blood (haematological) conditions such as low or high blood counts.  The test is used to diagnose and monitor blood & marrow diseases such as

  • Anemia
  • Haemachromatosis
  • Blood cell conditions (such as leukopenia, leukocytosis, thrombocytopenia, thrombocytosis, pancytopenia or polycythemia)
  • Blood cancers (such as leukemias, lymphomas or multiple myeloma)
  • Cancers which have spread from other areas into the bone marrow
  • Fevers of unknown origin

Click to watch video Having a Bone Marrow Biopsy by Design Science

How to prepare for a Bone Marrow Biopsy

Inform your doctor if you are taking the following blood thinning medications because you may need to stop them up to 3 days before the procedure

  • Aspirin
  • Warfarin
  • Clopidogrel (such as Plavix)
  • Dabigatran (such as Pradaxa)
  • Rivaroxaban (such as Xarelto)
  • Tinzaparin (such as Innohep)

How is the procedure done?

The procedure is done under local anaesthetic and takes between 30-60 minutes.  You will be lying down when the test is being done by the doctor.  There will be a nurse accompanying you at all times so that you will be well looked after.

How to take care after the procedure

Keep the plaster or bandage dry for 24 hours. Do not shower, bathe, swim or use a hot tub until the next day.  Avoid strenuous activity or sports for 1-2 days to avoid bleeding. 

Return to see your doctor if there is

  • Bleeding that soaks through the bandage or plaster
  • A persistent fever
  • Worsening pain or discomfort
  • Swelling or increasing redness or pain at the procedure site

When will the results be ready?

The test results should be ready within 7-10 days and should be discussed with you by your doctor

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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