Bone marrow removal is used in about 20 percent of stem cell donations. It is an outpatient surgical procedure performed under general anesthesia.
That’s the equivalent of about five percent of the total bone marrow in the body and regenerates within a few weeks.
Doctors use a special syringe to collect a volume of bone marrow, which stores blood stem cells, from the iliac crest of the hip bone. After the procedure, you will be sent to recovery and monitored. Once cleared by the physician, you will be sent home or back to your hotel on the same day. Bone marrow donation is more commonly requested by patients’ medical teams to treat pediatric cancers and certain forms of anemia.
After the bone marrow has been removed, the donor may experience localized pain for a few days. This is caused by the wound and often feels like bruising.