CANCER EXPERIENCE: The Bone Marrow Biopsy
What can a person about to undergo a bone marrow biopsy expect from the procedure? Does it hurt? Does it take a long time?
Below, our awesome users weigh in on the subject. Feel free to make any additions in the comments below, to help others facing this procedure feel more confident going into it. Thanks!
You can find the original thread here.
I won't lie to you, mine hurt. However, having said that, the pathologist that performed it had the sensitivity of lineoleum and was easy on the medaz (the pain killer and sedative they generally use). By the time I had asked for more, the procedure was over. The area ached for one to two days after and the site developed a little scab over the top as it healed.
My 21 year old daughter had one done last week. The nurses told me ahead of time to request that she be sedated. They referred to it as conscience sedation. I stood in the room while they performed a neck biopsy and bone marrow biopsy. She has no recollection of that procedure. She did not complain of discomfort afterwards. I would INSIST that they sedate you. There is no reason to start this journey off by being in pain.
I have had 4 bone marrow biopsies. The first was 3 yrs ago and I was more freaked out before the procedure than I was during. Thank goodness my dr was a proponent of morphine because it is a very painful procedure. Yes, there was pain,and morphine made me vomit, but it wasn't unbearable. Word of caution, if someone is going to be with, they should not be too freaked out by very large needles.
I had a very easy time also. The anticipation was far worse than the actual procedure. I had a small amount of morphine and felt alot of pressure, but very little pain. My hip was slightly sore around the site, but that disappeared within a day or two. The doctor kept me mentally occupied during the biopsy by asking me how and where I met my husband. We all got a little silly. It helped.
He says "I agree with Vikki and Pete. Bone marrow biopsy is not bad at all. My doc also kept me mentally occupied and that helped. I have to admit, I was sore for a couple of weeks but that's not a big deal.
I have had two bone marrow procedures. I relaxed, put my mind in a really good place, concentrated on the words of a song, and it didn't hurt. REALLY! I never felt it. My Dr. thinks because I didn't tense up that it made things easier for him and for me. Good luck. Smile and relax.
I had one bone marrow test. I received all "optional" pain meds, and it was not bad at all. The procedure is somewhat primitive, but it is short, and I had no after-pain or trouble thereafter at all. In the big picture of cancer treatment, it is not that big a deal.
My bone marrow extraction, too, was not so bad. It was done by a nurse, in fact. It was nine months ago, but that seems like an eternity now.
I had one bone marrow test, prior to my first infusion. It was almost exactly a year ago. Mine was negative. It was not any great ordeal, and I do not recall any pain following it, at least nothing significant.
I have never heard of a bone marrow test being overturned with differing results, at least within a short period of time. Also, it is a massively expensive test, and both doctors and insurance companies are not likely to run another without a strong clinical reason to do so.
Somewhat interestingly to me, after I got an "all clean" after my final treatment (from C-T, PET, and blood results) my doc told me that the protocol for my strain of HL did NOT call for an after-treatment bone marrow test.
I was a basket case in anticipation of my bone marrow biopsy. I requested and got a prescription for anti-anxiety meds which I took the night before and the morning of the bone marrow biopsy. I asked the Dr. to give me max doses of the Lidocaine, as even for dental work I need 3-4 novacaines. The Dr. and her nurse talked to me through the whole procedure, kept my mind off it...I was anticipating horror...
It was NOT! My Dr. waited till the Lidocaine kicked in, then gave me more. She is very gentle and caring. I felt pressure, and just one twinge...the worst was getting the Lidocaine itself, feels like a bee sting...but doesn't last long...I had no side effects, no soreness afterwards, no black and blue...nada.
I had one done and it was painful. I didn't get sedated but probably could have. The thing to remember is that it is over in a few minutes. I was sore from it for a few weeks like I had a bad bruise, but it is doable.
I did exactly what Geri did and it was not that bad! :) They gave me a bit of freezing (as I recall, I know I didn't take any pain meds) and it's just an odd sensation rather than a painful one (I found anyways)..and I'm no tough guy I have a very low pain threshold and am very anxious when it comes to procedures.
I took slow deep breaths, thought of being on some tropical beach and tried to think of the lyrics to a country song I like. It was over quicker than I thought it would be! :)
I had 1 hip biopsy with just a local injection at the site of the biopsy-I felt pressure & minor pain but over quickly, drove home and had no problems I also had 2 bone biopsies at the L3 vertabra with conscious sedation because it very important one does not move, with no pain & no problems. After all 3 biopsies the only feeling at the site of entry was no more than if you had a shot.
It would probaly be a better experince if you asked for conscious sedation-you will need some one to drive you home after the procedure-you are awake and can walk etc. it's just not safe for you to drive.
My friend was allowed to stay with me after begging for more morphine. of coarse i was denied of it. I am very grateful she was there. She held my hand. I thought they would just go in, extract, and go right out. But NOoooOOooOOooooOOo they were in there doing stuff, what????... I dont know. yes it hurt, but my Doctor was wonderful and worked with me instead of going in and just getting what he wanted. After pulling out he realized he didnt get enough bone marrow and he had to go back in. yes I had it done twice in a session. took about 30 to 40 minutes.
I must admit, I did tear up and cried when they just were numbing me. I was so afraid. yes it hurt. But when it was over i said, oh it was not that bad. Like delivering a baby, it hurts but once you deliver you think, oh its not that bad.