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Bone Marrow Biopsy (cont.)

After the Bone Marrow Biopsy Procedure

If the patient receives sedative medication, he or she will continue to feel drowsy for a while. After the local anesthetic wears off over the next few hours, the patient may have some pain at the biopsy site. The doctor will advise the patient about pain medication use.

The patient should keep the bandage on for 24 to 48 hours, and then it should be removed.

The samples taken from the bone marrow will be sent to a laboratory and the pathologist for analysis. Several tests are done including looking at the bone marrow under a microscope. The results of these tests will usually be available in a few days. The doctor will give the patient instructions for follow-up.

When to Seek Medical Care for Bone Marrow Biopsy Complications

Call the doctor if the patient notices signs of spreading redness, continued bleeding, fever, worsening pain, or if he or she has other concerns after this procedure.

Go to a hospital's emergency department if these conditions develop:

  • If bleeding will not stop with direct pressure
  • If the patient sees thick, pus-like discharge from the wound
  • If the patient has a persistent fever
  • If the patient feels lightheaded

Medically reviewed by Jay B. Zatzkin, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Medical Oncology


Bain, B. J. "Bone marrow trephine biopsy." Journal of Clinical Pathology 54.10 (2001): 737-742.

Hodges, A. and M. J. Koury. "Needle aspiration and biopsy in the diagnosis and monitoring of bone marrow diseases." Clinical Laboratory Science. 9.6 (1996): 349-353.

Hyun, B. H., et al. "Fundamentals of bone marrow examination." Hematology/Oncology Clinics of North America. 8.4 (1994): 651-663.

Lim, E. J. and S. C. Peh. "Bone marrow and peripheral blood changes in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma." 41.6 (2000): 279-285.

Paulsen, K. "Bone marrow sampling and processing." Clinical Laboratory Science. 6.3 (1993): 159-161.

Pollard, J. D. and G. A. Young. "Neurology and the bone marrow." Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 63.6 (1997): 706-718.

Reid, M. M. "Bone marrow biopsy: a haematologist's view." Acta Paediatrica 82.6-7 (1993): 599-601.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2017
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