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Bone Marrow Biopsy
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Bone Marrow Biopsy Overview

Written by FoundHealth.


A bone marrow biopsy is the removal of a sample of bone marrow. The sample is sent for testing. The procedure is most often done on the pelvic bone, but it may also be done on the sternum.

Bone Marrow Biopsy
Bone Marrow Biopsy
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

Your doctor may perform a physical exam and blood tests.

Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:


Local anesthesia will be used. It will numb the area.

Description of Procedure

You may be given a light sedative. It will help you relax. The biopsy area will be cleaned and numbed.

A hollow biopsy needle will be inserted into the bone. The needle will be twisted and advanced. This motion will allow a sample of bone marrow to enter the core of the needle. The doctor may need to use a fair amount of pressure and may need to rock the needle. The needle will then be removed. The bone marrow sample will be inside the needle. Pressure will be applied over the puncture area. A bandage will be applied.

Immediately After Procedure

The bone marrow specimen will be examined by a pathologist. Ask your doctor when to expect the results.

How Long Will It Take?

About 30 minutes

Will It Hurt?

The injection of anesthesia may sting or burn. You may notice a sensation of pressure and/or pain when the biopsy needle is rocked. Once the biopsy is done, you may feel soreness in the area for a few hours.

Post-procedure Care

At Home

You should be able to resume your normal activities after your biopsy. If you have had a sedative, avoid driving or operating equipment until the effects of the medicine have worn off.

Be sure to follow all of your doctor's instructions .



The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health


BC Cancer Agency

Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario


Bone marrow biopsy. Mayo website. Available at: . Updated November 2009. Accessed November 9, 2010.

Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC. Procedures for Primary Care Physicians. St. Louis, MO: Mosby-Year Book; 1994.

Wintrobe MM, Lee GR. Wintrobe's Clinical Hematology. 10th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 1999.


1 Comment

Posted 10 years ago

OK Look under Overview and find the article.

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