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Bone Marrow Biopsy

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 2, 2022.

What do I need to know about a bone marrow biopsy?

A bone marrow biopsy is a procedure to remove a small amount of bone marrow from your bone. Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside your bone that helps to make blood cells. Bone marrow biopsies are usually done on the pelvic bone. The sample is tested for disease or infection.

Bone Marrow Aspiration

How do I prepare for a bone marrow biopsy?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for this procedure. Your provider will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure. You may need to arrange for someone to drive you home after your procedure.

What will happen during a bone marrow biopsy?

You may be given medicine to help you relax or make you drowsy. You will be asked to lie on your side or on your stomach. You will be given local anesthesia to numb the biopsy area. Your healthcare provider will make a small incision on your lower back. A needle will then be inserted through the incision and into your pelvic bone. The needle will be used to take a sample of bone marrow. You may feel pressure and discomfort. A bandage will be applied over the biopsy area.

What will happen after a bone marrow biopsy?

You may need to lie on the biopsy area for up to 1 hour. This helps to apply pressure on the area to stop any bleeding. You may have mild pain or discomfort in the biopsy area for up to 1 week after your procedure.

What are the risks of a bone marrow biopsy?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection in the biopsy area.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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