When bone marrow gets damaged or when it is destroyed by any disease, infections or by chemotherapy, then performing bone marrow transplantation can replace the weak or damaged cells by healthy cells. This is to say that healthy bone marrow replaces unhealthy bone marrow. BMT, in short, is a medical procedure in which the blood stem cells travel to bone marrow & which in turn produce new blood cells and promote the growth of new marrow.
Bone marrow looks like a sponge. There is fatty tissue present inside your bone which creates the following parts of blood:
- Red Blood Cells (RBCs) which carry oxygen and nutrients throughout body
- White blood cells (WBCs) which fight infection
- Platelets are responsible for formation of blood clots
Bone marrow helps in generating enough WBCs, RBCs or platelets in order to prevent infections, bleeding disorders, or anemia.
Types of Bone Marrow Transplant
Bone marrow transplant has been categorized in two ways:
- Autologous bone marrow transplant
- Allogeneic bone marrow transplant
Seven Essential Steps of Bone Marrow Transplantation
Step 1: Planning Ahead of BMT
Patients will have to manage personal issues and plan simultaneously so that they can pay full attention towards recovery following BMT.
Step 2: Preparing for BMT
Main element towards preparation is that patients will have to prepare a donor for BMT, whether it is himself/herself or someone else as a donor.
Step 3: Conditioning for BMT
When the patient and the donor are ready for BMT, the doctor will begin with a conditioning regimen. This means that the patient will receive chemotherapy & total body irradiation in order to kill cancerous and unhealthy bone marrow.
Step 4: Bone Marrow Transplant
Bone marrow transplant will only take place after conditioning is fully complete.
Step 5: Waiting for Engraftment
Engraftment is the process in which stem cells that were received from the donor start growing and developing. This means that the bone marrow and immune system are recovering. BMT patients will be closely monitored and treated for any side-effects or complications that arise. BMT team and the caretakers will support the patient emotionally.
Step 6: Recovering Following Engraftment
Following allogeneic transplantation, initial recovery period is for about 3 months only and for autologous transplantation it is only one month. BMT patients will be under strict observation during this period and regular blood tests will be scheduled for them.
Step 7: Long-Term Recovery
There is a long-term recovery period following allogeneic transplantation in which patients may meet the hospital staff for long-term follow-up program. They will be provided with life-long resources related to bone marrow transplantation. They will sit and work with the team in order to give discharge evaluation. If BMT were to be an autologous transplant, there would have been no long-term issues.
Expenditure for Bone Marrow Transplant
India is the only affordable destination offering the best cost-effective BMT treatments across the world. Bone marrow transplant in India is found to be available at extremely economical prices which are just a fraction of what a patient would have to pay in developed countries like Australia, United Kingdom, Canada or United States. Top surgeons of India perform BMT by using latest technological equipments and devices. Bone marrow transplant cost is quite reasonable in India when compared to other global destinations.
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