Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) team associated with Travcure is globally recognized for expertise in comprehensive specialty treatments for adults & children with Leukemia & other blood, plasma & bone marrow diseases requiring this procedure. Travcure has assisted many international patients to undergo affordable bone marrow transplants in the past. Our healthcare experts will talk to you & discuss all treatment options which are available & deliver care which is customized to your specific requirements. Bone marrow or stem cell transplant comprise of lengthy & complicated procedures which typically involve the following stages.
- Tests & Examinations
- Harvesting Stem Cells
- Conditioning Patients
- Transplanting Stem Cells
- Recovery Following Bone Marrow Transplant
Tests & Examinations for Bone Marrow Transplant Patients
The patient will need to undergo a series of tests & examinations prior to undergoing bone marrow transplant in order to ensure that they are healthy enough for the treatment to be carried out. Despite underlying conditions, bone marrow transplant treatments tend to be more successful in patients who are in good overall health. Tests & Examinations conducted on prospective bone marrow transplant patients generally include the following.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) – This is a simple test which is used for checking the rhythm & electrical activity of the patient’s heart.
- Echocardiogram – This is a scanning procedure which is used for looking at the patient’s heart & blood vessels located nearby.
- X-Ray and/or Computed Tomography (CT) Scan – This is meant to check the condition of organs like liver & lungs In BMT patients.
- Blood Tests – These tests are meant to check & assess the level of blood cells & functioning of kidneys & liver in patients.
- Biopsy – Cancer patients may however also need to undergo a biopsy & which involves retrieving a small sample of cancerous tissue & analyzing it under a microscope in a laboratory. This is also meant to reveal if the cancer is under control or whether there is any risk of cancer returning following treatment.
Harvesting Stem Cells for Bone Marrow Transplant
Stem cells which will later be used for transplant are required to be removed & stored after the patient has undergone to check for overall health. It is now possible to remove stem cells from the patient’s own blood or bone marrow & which can eventually be transplanted later following the removal of damaged or cancerous cells. Moreover, it is also possible to utilize stem cells from a matching donor’s blood or bone marrow. The three main methods which are utilized for harvesting stem cells include the following.
- Stem Cells for Bone Marrow – This procedure involves removing a sample of bone marrow from the hip bone. About a liter of bone marrow is removed from the patient’s hip bone with help of a needle & syringe for collecting stem cells. The needle is inserted in several parts of the hip in order to ensure that enough bone marrow is collected for bone marrow transplant. This procedure is performed under the influence of general anesthesia so that the patient will be asleep & not feel any pain during the operation. However, the area on both sides of hip where the needle was inserted may be painful following the procedure.
- Stem Cells from Blood – This procedure involves removing stem cells from blood with help of a special machine. This is one of the most common ways of harvesting stem cells nowadays. The patient’s blood is temporarily removed from the body & passed through the machine which separates stem cells before returning it back into the body. Medications which are meant to stimulate & boost production of stem cells are given to the patient about four days beforehand. A blood test will be carried out on the fifth day so as to check if there are enough stem cells circulating in the bloodstream. Veins in each arm of the patient will be connected through tubes to a stem cell separator machine in case blood test has proved to be positive. While the blood is removed from one arm of the patient & passed through the machine which will eventually filter & collect stem cells, it will also be simultaneously returned to the body through the other arm. Separation of stem cells from blood is not a painful procedure & is therefore performed while the patient is awake. The entire stem cell collection procedure may last for about three hours of time & may even be repeated the next day in case, not enough stem cells were collected in the first attempt.
- Stem Cells from Cord Blood – This source of stem cells is derived from donated blood from placenta & an umbilical cord of newborn babies. Both umbilical cord blood & cord tissue are rich sources of stem cells & are presently being used as transplant medicine for regenerating healthy blood & immune systems. Cord blood banks nowadays usually preserve these cells for potential treatments involving 80 known diseases & disorders & therefore have the ability to act as a perfect repairing kit. While these cord blood stem cells will always perfectly match the baby, it is also helpful in benefiting siblings & parents as well. Stem cells of matched members are also preferred in many cases.
Conditioning Patients for Stem Cell Transplant
Treatments involving high doses of chemotherapy & at times radiotherapy will be required in order to destroy existing diseased bone marrow cells so as to make room for transplant tissue. Along with this existing cancerous cells may also be required to be destroyed & the immune system is to be stopped for reducing the risk of rejection of transplant tissue. BMT patient will be given a range of medications as part of conditioning treatment. A central line is usually inserted for this purpose into the large vein near the patient’s heart through which medications are administered into the body instead of numerous injections. BMT patient is usually required to stay at the hospital for a week’s time throughout the conditioning treatment. There are several unpleasant side effects of the conditioning treatment including tiredness, hair loss & sickness but which are temporary in nature. The bone marrow transplant treatment team will, however, discuss risks of treatment with the patient prior to conducting the procedure.
Stem Cell Transplant Procedure
Bone marrow or stem cell transplant will usually be carried out for a day or two following completion of the conditioning treatment. Stem cells are slowly passed into the patient’s body through a central line. The entire BMT or stem cell transplant procedure lasts for about two hours of time. Since the transplant procedure will not be painful, no anesthetic will be administered & the patient will be awake throughout the operation.
Recovery Following Bone Marrow Transplantation
The patient will need to stay at the hospital for a few weeks until stem cells settle within their bone marrow & begin producing new blood cells after completion of stem cell transplantation procedure. BMT patients during recovery are likely to feel weak & experience diarrhea, vomiting and/or loss of appetite. They will, however, be given fluids either through the mouth or by a tube running from the nose to the stomach in order to prevent malnutrition. Since they have a low count of platelets & red blood cells immediately following BMT, patients will also receive regular blood & platelet transfusions. During this time stem, cell transplant patient will have to stay in a germ-free room where visitors will be required to wear protective clothing in order to prevent transmission of infections to the patient who is having a low count of infection-fighting white blood cells within their system.
Discharge from Hospital Following BMT or Stem Cell Transplant
Most stem cell transplant patients are good enough to leave the hospital between 1 – 3 months of time following BMT treatment. They may, however, have to stay longer at the hospital in case they develop complications like developing infections. Even after discharge from hospital BMT patients will still be at potential risk of developing infections for a year or two since it takes some time for the immune system to get back to full strength. Moreover, for BMT patients who had received donated stem cells may usually also require taking immunosuppressant medications in order to reduce the risk of the body attacking transplanted cells or for reducing the risk of the transplanted stem cells attacking other cells within the patient’s body.
Bone Marrow Transplant with Travcure at Reasonable Costs
India is a great opportunity for international patients seeking good quality of affordable bone marrow transplant procedures in foreign countries. Medical procedures in India are not just reasonably priced but are in fact at par with the best available in the world. Travcure Medical Tourism is a globally reputed healthcare service provider which is associated with top oncologists & bone marrow transplant doctors in order to provide international standards of stem cell transplants to overseas patients at the best multispecialty hospital facilities in the country without any waiting period. Moreover, most healthcare services including bone marrow transplant treatment packages offered by Travcure are the most competitive when compared to others.