Bone Marrow Transplant: Procedure and Cost

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Bone Marrow Transplant

Bone marrow is the soft and spongy tissue inside the bone that has HSCs (Hematopoietic Stem Cells) in it. HSC refers to cells that have the ability to generate red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and can remain as a stem cell.

In some cases, it doesn’t work the way it is supposed to work. This can be caused by diseases such as anemia, lymphoma, and leukemia and in such cases, it is necessary to transplant the affected bone marrow in order to restore its functionality. In this article, we will learn everything about bone marrow transplants from the procedure to bone marrow transplant cost in India.

What Is Bone Marrow Transplant?

A bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure in which healthy stem cells are transplanted in the bone marrow of the patient to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow. These healthy stem cells that are transplanted on the marrow initiate new cell generation. Generation of new and healthy red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets help your body to fight against any bacteria, virus, or infection. Healthy stem cells need to come from your body or from a donor’s body.

Why Is Bone Marrow Transplant Necessary?

Bone marrow is a crucial part of our body and any problem caused by it can lead to further complications. It is responsible for generating RBCs, platelets, and WBCs, which act as a shield against infections, bacteria, and other diseases. If the bone marrow is diseased, then its ability to generate RBC, platelets, and WBC gets compromised, which puts the body at high risk. This is why carrying out a bone marrow transplantation is very important in order to protect the patient’s body from any potential harm.

Diseases

Here are some of the most common diseases that result in a need for bone marrow transplants for the patient. If you happen to suffer from any of these diseases, make sure to reach out to your doctor, and then they will assist you further-

• Immune deficiencies
• Congenital neutropenia
• POEMS syndrome
• Aplastic anemia
• Neuroblastoma
• Sickle cell anemia
• Adrenoleukodystrophy
• Plasma cell disorder
• Thalassemia
• Inborn errors of metabolism
• Bone marrow cancers such as leukemia, myeloma, or lymphoma

Risk of the Procedure

There are many factors that lead to risks or complications in one’s bone marrow transplant procedure. Factors like age and disease that you are diagnosed with and your general health are common factors that can affect the complications of the procedure.

The level to which the donor match is achieved will also affect the outcome of the procedure. How the transplant was done is also going to affect the outcome of the surgery. If you have been treated with radiation therapy or chemotherapy, then it also adds up to the equation.
In a nutshell, the complications and risks vary from person to person. In rare cases, the patient may need to be hospitalized in order to treat the complications of the procedure.

Here are some common complications that are observed-

• Impaired taste
• A prolonged headache
• Drop in your blood pressure
• Chances of contracting high fever
• Chest pain
• Nausea
• Hives
• Breathing difficulties
• Chills

Here are some serious risks that are associated with bone marrow transplant

• GVHD can happen. In this, the donor cells start to harm the body
• You may be prone to contracting infections and viruses
• Blood clotting in the liver and smaller veins can happen
• You may suffer from anemia
• Vital organs such as the brain and lungs can start bleeding
• You may get cataract
• Nausea and vomiting
• Your body may develop cancer cells
• Early menopause
• Infertility can happen

Procedure

Bone marrow transplant is an extensive as well as expensive procedure. Bone marrow transplant cost in India ranges from INR 15,00,000 to INR 40,00,000. It depends upon the disease that you already are suffering from and donor availability.

• Pre-Transplant

Before the real transplant, a bone marrow test will be taken. This helps in determining the type of cells you require. This will be carried out by your bone marrow specialist and then he will allow you to go for the treatment. If you happen to suffer from cancer, then the doctor will ask you to go through a bone marrow biopsy too.

• Conditioning Process

You will have to go through chemotherapy or radiation or maybe both by the bone marrow specialist. This is done mainly by two methods: Mini Transplant or Myeloablative treatment. This is done before the transplant procedure.
A bone marrow transplant can be done either using your own body’s healthy stem cells through a procedure called apheresis or an allogenic transplant. In an allogenic transplant, the stem cells of a newly born baby are acquired through his umbilical cord. As the stem cells can be very little in the umbilical cord, the cell generation process can take more time.
The other option is to get the stem cell from a different person, but finding the right one with a perfect match can be a difficult task.

Recovery

Generally, it takes about 3 months to recover from a transplant but almost a year to recover entirely.

In this time period, you may encounter different health problems and all of their needs to be addressed by your do

Bone Marrow Transplant: Procedure and Cost

ctor. You will be provided a diet chart that you need to follow rigorously in order to get all the nutrition that your body requires. Here are some things to keep in mind-

• Avoid alcohol
• Avoid high-fat dairy
• Eat fibrous food
• Eat lean meat for protein
• Stay hydrated

If you find any symptoms, do consult a doctor immediately and get the right treatment.