Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy
How It Is Done continued...
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.
A bone marrow biopsy uses a special tool that twists
into the bone. It is normal to feel pressure at the site and hear a crunching
sound as the tool twists into the bone.
After the samples have
been taken, pressure is put on the site to stop any bleeding. A bandage is put
on the area.
How It Feels
This procedure may be painful, but only for a few seconds. You may feel a sharp sting and burn when
the anesthetic numbs your skin over the aspiration or biopsy site. You may hear
a crunching sound and feel pressure and some pain when the needle enters the
bone. During an aspiration, you
may feel a quick, shooting pain down your leg as the sample is taken.
The biopsy site may feel
stiff or sore for several days after the biopsy. You may have a bruise on the
Serious problems from a bone marrow aspiration
or biopsy are not common. Problems may include:
- Bleeding from the biopsy site. People with
bleeding problems have a higher chance for this. If you have bleeding problems,
pressure will be put on the biopsy site for at least 10 minutes after the
biopsy. In rare cases, you may be given a blood product (clotting factor or
platelets) in a vein in your arm before the biopsy to prevent bleeding after
- Infection of skin or the bone (osteomyelitis)
at the biopsy site.
- Injury to your heart, a lung, or a major blood
vessel if the sample is taken from the breastbone (sternum). This complication
is very rare. Samples are not often taken from the breastbone, so most people
do not have to worry about this risk.
After the biopsy