Despite the stories you have heard about bone marrow biopsies, the majority of our patients are surprised by how simple and relatively painless this procedure can be. The biopsy will be performed in the clinic by a nurse practitioner or transplant physician. They will explain the procedure in detail and have you sign a consent form prior to performing the procedure.

The bone marrow is taken from the upper, backside of your hip, called the posterior iliac crest. A local anesthesia called Lidocaine will be given using a small needle. You will feel a poke and a slight burn as the Lidocaine takes effect. The nurse practitioner/physician will numb you to the bone and then insert a large needle and withdraw about 10cc (a few tablespoons) of bone marrow using a syringe. The removal of the liquid marrow is the most uncomfortable part, but the pain should only last as long as the marrow is being withdrawn (about 10 seconds). You will then feel more pressure as a piece of bone, about ½ - inch long, is taken from the same spot. This is usually not painful. After the procedure, the numbing medication will wear off and you may feel soreness similar to having a deep bruise for a day or two. Tylenol and icing the area will help relieve this discomfort. We recommend you have someone drive you to and from this procedure.