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Bone Marrow = blood cell "factory"


How is this done ?

​​Only single-use, disposable needles are used.

​Usually the pelvic bone is chosen.

No knife nor blade is used during bone marrow examination.​​​​​​

Pain Relief

You will be given local anaesthetic (LA) (an injection) to numb the area where you are going to be pricked with a bone marrow needle.

In addition to LA, you are given a choice to have sedation (light sleep) for about 5-10 minutes) during the procedure.​



A bone marrow examination,

​IS NOT a lumbar puncture!​


What is done ?

A bone marrow examination usually consists of two parts:

aspiration - a sample of marrow, in liquid form, is taken

biopsy -  a core of marrow is taken out

The whole process usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

It can be done as an outpatient procedure.​​​



Going Home

You should be able to walk after the procedure.

We advise that you leave the hospital after the procedure, accompanied by a responsible adult, and that you do not drive home alone.

You will be given a pain-killer to take for about 1 day, or when necessary, depending on your tolerance to pain.

Normal activities should resume the next day.

Report - How long & Why ?

I take great care in ensuring that good quality samples are collected, and that they are sent to good laboratories for analysis.

The turn-around-time for different marrow samples are different : some require special staining, culture etc, apart from direct viewing under the microscope after staining.

Certain cases e.g. acute leukaemia needs our urgent attention.  Marrow examination for this type of cases takes priority over the others, will be arranged as soon as possible, as well as the availability of the result.

Returning for Report

Make sure that you return for a follow-up visit after bone marrow examination. 

I will explain to you what the reports mean to you and what is your next plan of action.





What is Bone Marrow ?

Bone Marrow is the spongy or the hollow part of the bone.

It is the blood-producing factory.

It produces red cells, white cells and platelets.​​

Who needs a bone marrow test ?

Bone Marrow Examination is necessary to enable your doctor

1. to diagnose a blood-related disease

2. to determine the status of disease after treatment in a patient who is known to suffer from a blood disease


Bone Marrow Test


Lumbar Puncture : needle into the spine



Bone Marrow Aspirate




After Care

This procedure can be done as an outpatient, provided that the medical condition(s) that you are having, does not warrant immediate medical attention.

​You will be observed for a minimum of 2 hours after the procedure, especially if you have had sedation during the procedure, before you are allowed to leave.

You can shower with the transparent dressing on. 

The dressing may be removed after three days.

There is no stitch to be removed.


An accurate diagnosis is of prime importance to the correct treatment of a blood disease. 

Sometimes, more time is needed for some add-on tests or a third opinion.

Morphology tests : ~ 2-7 days

FISH analysis : 5-7 days

Cytogenetic test : ~ 2-3 weeks           



Human Blood








Appearance after test



Bone Marrow Test : needle into the pelvic bone, does not involve the spine or spinal cord


Bone Marrow Trephine Biopsy


Cytogenetic Analysis


Fluorescent in-situ Hybridisaiton Analysis


Flowycytometry Analysis