happens when the test is performed?
- Most patients have this test done by a hematologist in a clinic
procedure area. You wear a hospital gown during the procedure.
A sedative may be injected at this time. (If you are prescribed
a sedative in pill form, you will be instructed to take it ahead
Most patients have bone marrow sampled from the pelvis. You lie
on your stomach and the doctor feels the bones at the top of
your buttock. An area on your buttock is cleaned with soap. A
local anesthetic is injected to numb the skin and the tissue
underneath the skin in the sampling area. This causes some very
A small cut is made in the skin to allow the biopsy needle to
be placed through the skin. This needle is about half as wide
as a pencil and has a handle on one end that your doctor holds
while he or she moves it through your bone. The biopsy needle
is moved through the bone with a twisting motion, as a corkscrew
would be moved through a cork. When the needle has passed through
the top layer of bone, your doctor uses a syringe to pull a liquid
sample of your bone marrow cells through the needle. For most
patients, the suction used in this liquid collection causes a
pain in the buttock for a few seconds; this is why pain medicine
is usually given in preparation for the biopsy.
After taking the liquid sample, the doctor carefully moves the
needle a little bit further into the bone marrow to collect a
second sample of marrow called a core biopsy. This core biopsy
is a small solid piece of bone marrow, with not just the liquid
and cells but also the fat and bone fibers that hold them together.
After the needle is pulled out, this solid sample can be pushed
out of the needle with a wire so that it can be examined under
a microscope. Pressure is applied to your buttock at the biopsy
location for a few minutes, until you are not at risk of bleeding.
A bandage is placed on your buttock.