Bone marrow transplants are a procedure, which is done for replacing one’s bone marrow that was destroyed or damaged by disease, chemotherapy or infection. This process involves transplanting the blood stem cells that travel to bone marrow where they promote new marrow growth and new blood cells.
Bone marrow contains hematopoietic stem cells. Majority of cells are differentiated already and may only make copies of their own. But, such stem cells are not specialized, which mean they have the possibility to multiply through the cell division and differentiate or remain stem cells and mature to a lot of blood cells. HSC found in bone marrow would make new blood cells in your lifetime.
Bone marrow transplant replaces the damaged stem cells with the healthy ones. It helps your body make white blood cells, red blood cells or platelets to avoid bleeding disorders, anemia or infections. Stem cells that are healthy can come from your donor or they could be from your body. In these cases, the stem cells can be grown or harvested before starting radiation treatment or chemotherapy. Such healthy cells are used and stored in transplantation.
Bone Marrow Transplant – How to Prepare?
You will have to undergo some tests prior to bone marrow transplant to discover what kind of bone marrow cells you require. You might also undergo treatments like chemotherapy to get rid of the marrow cells or cancer cells before getting the new stem cells. The procedure may take up to a few days. Thus, you should make arrangements before your transplant session.
During the treatments, one’s immune system is compromised, which affects its ability to fight some infections. Thus, you will stay in hospital’s special section that is reserved for individuals getting bone marrow transplants. It reduces the risk of being exposed to anything that might cause infections. Never hesitate to bring your own list of questions to ask your physician. You may write down his or her answer or bring someone to take notes and listen. It is crucial that you feel confident and comfortable before the procedure and that every question is answered thoroughly. Several hospitals have some available counselors to talk with the patients. The process of transplant can be taxing emotionally. Talking to professionals will help you throughout this process.
Bone Marrow Transplant – What Should You Expect?
The success of bone marrow transplant is dependent primarily on how close the recipient and donor genetically match. There are times that it’s tough to find an ideal match among the unrelated donors. Your engraftment’s state will be monitored on a regular basis. Generally, it is complete between ten and twenty-eight days after the first transplant. The engraftment’s first sign is an increasing white blood cell count. It shows that the transplant is beginning to make some new blood cells.
When it comes to bone marrow transplant, the typical recovery time is about 3 months. But, it might take up to a year to fully recover. Recovery may depend on some factors such as where transplants are performed, donor match, radiation, chemotherapy, and conditions being treated. There is also a possibility that some symptoms you have experienced after bone marrow transplant will remain throughout your life.