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Treating Bone Marrow Diseases: How it’s Done

Bone Marrow Transplant: The Procedure 

Bone marrow is the spongy tissue present inside our bones which is responsible for the production of blood cells in our body, namely, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Bone marrow transplant is a medical procedure which replaces unhealthy stem cells present in the patient’s marrow with healthy stem cells.

Bone Marrow Transplant: Diseases that can be cured

The following is a list of a few diseases that can benefit from bone marrow transplant:

  • Leukemia, it hinders the body’s ability to fight infections by weakening the immune system.
  • Sickle cell anemia, it is a disorder that causes abnormality in the shape and function of the red blood cells.
  • Aplastic anemia, it is a rare condition in which the body stops producing enough blood cells.
  • Thalassemia, it is a disorder which results in the destruction of the red blood cells which leads to anemia.
  • Multiple myeloma, it is a cancer of the plasma cells which results in the body’s inability to fight infections.

Bone Marrow Transplant: The Cost

The cost of bone marrow transplant depends greatly on the type of treatment that the patient requires. In India, allogeneic bone marrow transplant can cost about USD 22.000. Pediatric bone marrow transplant stands a little cheaper at about USD 13,000 while thalassemia bone marrow transplant can start from about USD 24,000.

Bone Marrow Transplant: The Types

There are mainly two types of bone marrow transplants –

  1. Autologous bone marrow transplant is a type of bone marrow transplant in which the patient is his/her own donor as stem cells are extracted from their own bone marrow before they go into chemotherapy or radiation. After the therapy the collected healthy stem cells are injected back into the patient’s body so they can resume making healthy blood cells.
  2. Allogeneic bone marrow transplant is the second type of bone marrow transplant where the stem cells are extracted from a health individual who is the donor. The donor needs to be of a close genetic match with the patient to avoid complications after the procedure. Mostly, family member like parents r siblings are the best suited donors. But in case they are no available then matches are found out from donor registry for the procedure.

Bone Marrow Transplant: Complications

The two most common and dreaded complications that may arise after the bone marrow transplantation are –

  1. Graft failure

This is a serious complication where the newly introduced healthy stem cells fail to generate new blood cells in the patient.

  1. Graft versus Host Disease

This is significant complication following an allogeneic bone marrow transplant where the donor’s stem cells start to attack the recipient’s body causing mild to serious complications.

Bone Marrow Transplant: The Hospitals

It is best to get your bone marrow transplant from trusted hospitals to reduce the risk of these complications. The following are the top 3 hospitals in the country which offers low cost bone marrow transplant in India without compromising on the quality of the treatment.

  1. Dharamshila Cancer Hospital & Research Center, New Delhi
  2. Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi
  3. Narayana Multispecialty Hospital, Bengaluru

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