top of page

Bone Marrow Biopsy

A bone marrow biopsy is a medical procedure in which a small sample of bone marrow tissue is removed from the hipbone or breastbone for examination under a microscope. The sample is usually taken using a special needle that is inserted into the bone marrow space, and a small amount of liquid and solid tissue is removed.

The procedure typically takes around  60 minutes to complete, including preparation and recovery time. It is usually performed in a hospital or clinic setting.

While a local anesthetic is used to numb the area where the needle will be inserted, some people may experience discomfort or pain - pressure - during the procedure. After the biopsy, patients may experience soreness or bruising at the site of the needle insertion, but this typically resolves within a few days.

A bone marrow biopsy is used to diagnose a variety of conditions that affect the blood cells and bone marrow, including:

  • Leukemia and other blood cancers

  • Anemia and other blood disorders

  • Infections that affect the bone marrow

  • Abnormal blood cell production or function

  • Unexplained fevers, weight loss, or other symptoms that may be related to bone marrow dysfunction.

The results of a bone marrow biopsy can help doctors determine the best course of treatment for these conditions, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplantation, or other therapies.


Possible Complications: 

  • Bleeding

  • Infection

  • Damage to nearby structures

Bone marrow biopsies are generally considered safe and effective.  

Site care

Wear the bandage and keep it dry for 24 hours. Don't shower, bathe, swim or use a hot tub. After 24 hours you can get the area wet.

Contact your doctor if you have:

  • Bleeding that soaks through the bandage or doesn't stop with direct pressure

  • A persistent fever

  • Worsening pain or discomfort

  • Swelling at the procedure site

  • Increasing redness or drainage at the procedure site

To help minimize bleeding and discomfort, avoid rigorous activity or exercise for a day or two.

Having a bone marrow test Design Science

See example Post Care/Discharge Instructions here.

bottom of page