Bone marrow is a spongy, soft tissue available in the bone. It is responsible for producing blood cells. A bone marrow transplant aims to transfuse the healthy cells of bone marrow in a person who has unhealthy or abnormal bone marrow cells. It is a surgical process that involves removing the damaged bone marrow and replacing it with healthier ones.
When Do You Need Bone Marrow Transplant?
Many chronic and acute health conditions can affect bone marrow functioning and thus require BMT. These health conditions are:
- Multiple Myeloma
- Chronic or Acute Leukemia
- Hodgkin’s or Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Germ cell tumors
- Immune disorders
- Bone marrow failure
Different Types of BMTs
Generally, there are three types of bone marrow transplants.
- Autologous bone marrow transplant
This type of BMT uses the own cells of the patient. The doctor extracts and freezes their cells before they get a heavy dosage of radiation or chemotherapy. Following radiation or chemotherapy treatments, these cells are reintroduced into the patient’s body to aid in the production of normal blood cells. This is also sometimes referred to as a rescue transplant.
- Allogeneic bone marrow transplant
This transplant needs healthy cells from a donor. The donor’s DNA must at least partially match with receivers. Before beginning the process, the doctor mandates various tests to determine whether a donor is a good match. A sibling is almost certainly a good fit. However, children, parents, and other relatives can also be good fits. Non-related donors who fulfill the criteria are a good match in some situations.
- Umbilical cord blood transplant
This transplant requires the extraction of cells from a newborn baby’s umbilical cord immediately after delivery. The medical team freezes and preserves these cells for a future transplant. Because umbilical cord blood cells are young, there is less requirement for exact matching. Blood counts may take significantly longer to recover due to fewer cells.
How does Bone Marrow Transplant Work?
Thousands of patients with blood malignancies such as leukemia, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia, and others rely on bone marrow or cord blood transplant (also known as a BMT) to preserve their lives.
The process of BMT starts when your doctor believes you’re ready. The process is similar to that of a blood transfusion.
If you’re undergoing an allogeneic transplant, your donor’s bone marrow cells will be extracted a day or two before your surgery.
There are two methods for collecting cells.
Cells are harvested from both hip bones using a needle during a bone marrow harvest. You’ll be sleepy and pain-free during this treatment since you will be sedated.
Bone Marrow Transplant for Leukapheresis
During leukapheresis, the transplant team gives five injections to the donor that help in migrating stem cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream. After drawing blood through an intravenous (IV) line, a machine separates the white blood cells containing stem cells.
A central venous catheter, also known as a port, will be inserted into the upper right side of your chest. It permits the fluid carrying the new stem cells to enter your heart directly. The stem cells will then spread throughout your body. They pass through your bloodstream and into your bone marrow. They’ll establish themselves and flourish there.
The port remains in place because the bone marrow transplantation requires numerous sessions over a few days. Multiple sessions give the new stem cells the best opportunity to assimilate into your body, termed Engraftment.
You will also get blood transfusions, liquids, and potentially nutrition through this port. You may require medications to combat infections that help you in the growth of new bone marrow. The transplant team will constantly watch you for any issues during this period.
Cost of Bone Marrow Transplant
Certainly, bone marrow transplant costs vary largely from country to country. The bone marrow transplant cost in India is more affordable than in other countries. It starts from INR 10, 86,000 (USD 15,000) for Autologous BMT. For Allogeneic BMT, it costs INR 15, 60,000 (USD 22,000).
If you are looking for more information about the best BMT hospital in India, cost, doctor’s experience, or more, Lyfboat is your ultimate online destination. It provides you with all details that make your BMT treatment successful without breaking your bank. To read more about our health blogs, please visit our website.