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Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Harvesting


Peripheral blood stem cell harvesting is a procedure to remove stem cells from your blood. The stem cells can be harvested for you or for someone else. If you are harvesting stem cells for yourself, you will receive them after you have received treatment for your disease.


The week before your procedure:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your procedure.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your healthcare provider. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your provider if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.
  • You may need medicine to increase the number of stem cells in your blood. This medicine is given about 1 week before the procedure.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you think you are pregnant.
  • You may need blood or urine tests before your surgery. You may also need x-rays, an EKG, or ultrasound. Talk to your healthcare provider about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The day of your procedure:

  • Ask your healthcare provider before taking any medicine on the day of your procedure. These medicines include insulin, diabetic pills, high blood pressure pills, or heart pills. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.


What will happen:

  • Your healthcare provider will insert an IV catheter into a vein, usually in your arm. He will attach the catheter to a machine called a blood cell separator. This machine collects your blood and separates the stem cells from your blood. Then the machine returns the blood to your body through another IV catheter inserted into your other arm.
  • Tell healthcare providers if you feel pain or tingling in your mouth, hands, or feet during the procedure. Normally, the procedure takes 3 to 5 hours a day over a period of 1 to 3 days. Stem cells can be used right away or frozen and used later.

After your procedure:

You will be taken to a room to rest. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You will then be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.


  • You cannot make it to your procedure.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have severe bone or muscle pain.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • You are dizzy, lightheaded, or feel faint.
  • You have severe abdominal pain.


You may feel tired for several days after the procedure. Calcium levels in your blood may decrease and cause numbness and tingling in your mouth, hands, or feet. The procedure may decrease the number of platelets in your blood and increase your risk for bleeding. Rarely, the procedure may cause fainting or vomiting.

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.

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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.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.