What Patients Should Expect: An Expert Breaks Do... - MPN Voice

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What Patients Should Expect: An Expert Breaks Down the Procedure for a Bone Marrow Biopsy


Hey guys...

Found this short talk about Bone Marrow Biopsy (BMB) that I thought might be useful for those who have never undergone the procedure previously.

The last time I did this it was relatively benign, and really there was not that much pain (if any worth mentioning), associated with the event. More a tad of inconvenience than actual pain etc...

I am about to undergo another BMB shortly, and I am hoping for a similar result.

This Patient Power video just happened to came through today... Hence, the posting.


Best wishes and I hope you are all doing well...



7 Replies

Well I am pleased you found it rather a mild procedure Socrates, with not much to write home about. I had my first one some months ago and it was horrible, now my Haematologist says he wants me to have another, I am definitely not at all happy about it and told him I want to be asleep when they did it, but apparently NHS do not allow this on cost of the theatre and anaesthetist standing by. I found it painful and unpleasant so people don't be under any illusions everyone can sail through it. I don't want to frighten anyone, just to inform them it is not always a straight forward job.

Hey bordeauxgirl & other interested people/s...

Happy to report that I suffered very little again today after my 2nd ever BMB. A tad of local stinging during the procedure of which I was completely aware of on this 2nd occasion. However, this time, I did not breath as deeply w/ the whistle that helps to overcome the neurons of our brain's pain centre, and perhaps this was the primary reason for my relatively painless experience on both occasions...?

Hopefully, your next will experience will be as benign as my own, such is my hope in any event...

Best wishes


Hey bordeauxgirl... :–)

I am so sorry to hear that your BMB, was a far more memorable experience for you, (for all the wrong reasons), than was contrary for myself...

The video (link) I previously posted does suggest that the procedure can have a few adverse affects for some people, however, my understanding is that this is more the exception rather than the expectation, generally speaking of course...

I may have been fortunate on my previous occasion that the person performing the procedure was well experienced... rather than having someone on their 'L' Plates...

It is interesting that you should be having another BMB so soon after your last just a few months ago (I hope all is well in your world).

In any event, I do hope it goes more smoothly for you this time around.

Best wishes...


PS. I have mine this coming Monday AM, perhaps we could compare notes again after our next experience... (?)

Hopefully, mine will be revealing that my condition has stablised for the present... Fingers crossed... :–)

Mmmm not sure on this one - I have met the odd person who found it ok but overwhelmingly the majority I know have found it not so pleasant - here in the U.K. an anaesthetic is not used, maybe a bit of gas and air, and whilst the person doing the procedure usually are well experienced as they are in the cancer units, it is not an easy process - I was just with a group of patients earlier this week and we discussed BMB and all attending, bar one, found it a difficult procedure. Fortunately it is soon over and it is a good baseline for consultants to work on should it be felt necessary for the particular patient.

As I posted recently I also had a very painful experience even with some Penthrox and it lasted a while as they couldn't get the aspiration, took a few goes 😢 It would seem that conscious sedation is the best option and I thought that was what was happening but they'd refused it without telling me till I got there. Complaint in process 😉


Fascinating... as I have spoken w/ many others who have also had little complaint about the procedure here in Oz... (?)

Conscious sedation was exactly what I underwent, and they said that I would not be 'out completely, however, I simply do not recall the whole process, and then I laid & slept for a while before driving myself home again...

I do recall that there was a mild discomfort over the ensuing few days, but certainly not something that I would classify as 'painful'.

I wonder if the consultant undertaking the procedure would want to attempt a second effort, if the first was a 'dry tap'? And whether a dry tap experience, is more or less painful than the converse...?

Interesting all the same to be witnessing the variety of experience via the forum. Hopefully, my next BMB will be as good as the last... ;-/

Two more sleeps and we will all know... :–)

Best wishes all...


Hi Steve, My consultant was very worried about the very high WBC in my case and the extreme fatigue I am having , when he saw my last set of blood tests, he jumped into action all bells and whistles blowing , he has also prescribed an Infusion of Iron which in turn might mean a vensection, the chap who actually doe's the BMB is very experienced and that is all he does. I am quite happy with his methods but after the first one I told him I never wanted to see his face again, he very gingerly showed his face around the consulting room waving a white hankie. He remembered it was not a good experience for me. He said some people sail through but an awfull lot find it painful, my last one was not dry and the gas was usless. fingers crossed for the next one and good luck with yours.

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