Testing for Blood Diseases

The following is a list of tests and procedures commonly used to diagnose and evaluate blood diseases. It is not uncommon to have one or more of these tests performed or to have one or more of them repeated throughout your experience.

If you have an appointment to see your Cancer & Hematology Center physician following testing, he/she will discuss results with you at that time. If however you do not have an appointment, we will call you with your results. If however you do not receive a call, please call the office. 

Bone Marrow Biopsy and Aspiration

Bone Marrow Biopsy and Aspiration

Bone marrow biopsy and aspiration are methods of sampling tissue from your bone marrow, the spongy tissue found inside your large bones responsible for producing blood cells.

This tissue can help diagnose and evaluate numerous conditions including anemias, leukemias, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

Preparation

There is no preparation for this test but you will be asked to sign a consent form.

Procedure

The samples are usually taken from one of your hipbones. For testing, you will be asked to lie on your stomach or your side. A small area over your hipbone will be cleansed and injected with a numbing medicine (anesthetic). The anesthetic may sting or burn when first injected. A hollow needle is then inserted into your bone and a core sample is obtained.

Because local anesthetics are not able to numb the interior of you bone, you may feel a deep, aching pressure when the needle is fully inserted. A syringe is then attached to the needle and a sample of the liquid portion of the bone marrow is drawn out. As this occurs, you may feel a painful cramp but this lasts only several seconds. The needle is then removed. 

After the biopsy, a bandage is applied and you will need to lie on your back for 15-30 minutes to apply pressure to the site, which helps to minimize bleeding.

Keep the bandage on and dry for the next 24 hours. You may take Tylenol or Advil at home if you feel pain after the anesthetic wears off.

The procedure typically takes 30 minutes to perform.