How To Prepare
You will be asked to sign a consent
form. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about the need for the
aspiration or biopsy, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results may
mean. To help you understand the importance of the biopsy, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
Tell your doctor if you:
Arrange for someone to drive you home after the biopsy
because you may be given a medicine (sedative) to
help you relax.
How It Is Done
A bone marrow aspiration or biopsy is
usually done by a
pathologist, or by a specially trained technologist. A
laboratory technologist may also help get the sample. This biopsy may be done
in your doctor's office or in a hospital.
You may need to take off
all or most of your clothes, depending on what part of the body the biopsy or
aspiration is taken from. If needed, you will be given a gown to use during the
Blood samples from a vein in your arm may be taken before
the bone marrow biopsy. In rare cases, you may be given a blood product
(clotting factor or platelets) into a vein (IV) in your arm
to prevent bleeding after the biopsy.
Adults usually have a sample
of bone marrow fluid taken from the back of the pelvic bone. In rare cases a
fluid sample is removed from the breastbone (sternum ) or from the
front of the pelvic bone. Babies and young children may have the sample taken
from the front of the lower leg bone, just below the knee. A bone marrow biopsy
is only taken from the pelvic bone.
You may be given a sedative to
help you relax. You will lie either on your side or facedown, on your belly,
for the biopsy. It is important that you lie still in that position during the
biopsy. See a picture of bone marrow aspiration and biopsy .
The skin over the aspiration site will be cleaned
with a special solution and a medicine (local anesthetic) will be used to numb the area. Then the aspiration needle
will be put through your skin and into your bone to reach the bone marrow. You
need to lie very still while the sample is taken. The needle is then taken out.
More than one sample may be needed, possibly from more than one place on your
body, such as from both sides of the pelvic bone. You are more likely to need
more than one sample if the biopsy is being done to stage a condition, such as