How is life after a bone marrow transplant?

Door Marin Decosta gepubliceerd op Thursday 28 November 08:41

A bone marrow transplant is a procedure to replace the diseased or damaged bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells. Also known as stem cell transplant, it is an effective method to treat certain blood cancers and disorders.

The patient undergoes a conditioning regime with chemotherapy and possibly radiation to destroy the cancer cells and bone marrow before the transplant. The harvested stem cells are then infused into the patient’s bloodstream after conditioning. As the new stem cells enter the body and move to the bone marrow, they start to multiply and make new, healthy blood cells. This is known as engraftment. It generally takes a few weeks before the stem cells produce adequate number of blood cells in the body. In some cases, it may take longer.

During the days and weeks in the hospital following a bone marrow transplant, regular blood tests and other medical evaluations are conducted to monitor the increase in the number of blood cells.

Treatment with bone marrow transplant may cure some diseases and put others into remission. The goals and results of a bone marrow transplant depend on the individual cases, and usually include improving the quality of life, extending the lifespan, and possibly curing the disease.

 

Rehabilitation at home:

After weeks or even months of hospitalization, you will most likely be happy to go home. But it is imperative to take appropriate care of yourself and strictly follow the instructions provided by the doctor.

Recovery takes time and you must not lose patient while healing. It is common to feel more tired than usual and weak, too. There may be loss of appetite or notice changes in the way food tastes or smells. The cells of the mouth, muscles, stomach, intestines, and even hair are all in the process of re-growing at this stage and you can take your time going back to the normal routines. A full recovery is usually completed within a year or several months.

 

Prevent infections.

As the immune system is destroyed during chemotherapy and condition, you are at a greater risk of infection after a bone marrow transplant. You will be susceptible to infection from different microbial agents such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi. This is a major risk during the first 6 weeks after the transplant. After this, the new stem cells usually start making enough white blood cells (leucocytes) to help the body fight infectious agents. But at times, it may take up to a year for the immune system to fully recover and prevent infectious diseases.

 

The doctor will prescribe antibiotics to reduce the chances of infection until the blood tests show adequate number of immune cells to protect you.

Following precautions can help you lower the risk of infection after BMT:

  • Wash hands frequently with antibacterial soap or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Stay away from people who are sick or may be sick and people who have recently been sick.
  • Use a face mask or gloves in public places if recommended by the doctor.

 

Call your doctor if you observe the signs of infection, such as:

  • Fever that is higher than 100.4 F
  • Flushed face or excessive sweating
  • Skin feels hot or there is a rash on the skin
  • Symptoms such as chills, coughing, sneezing, a runny nose, a sore throat, or shortness of breath.
  • An unusual pain, pressure, or swelling at any place in the body.
  • Changes such as frequent urination, pain in rectum, or blurred vision

 

A bone marrow transplant may raise your chances of acquiring some long-term health problems. These include hormonal changes, cataract (clouding of the eye lens), trouble conceiving or fathering a child, relapse of cancer or development of new tumors, organ damage, and unusual growth of lymph tissue. The doctor will discuss possible complications and problems that can arise and what can be done to remain healthy after recovery.

 

Certain lifestyle changes can help you recover better.

  • Have regular follow-up visits with your hematologist and take precautions recommended by them.
  • Avoid alcohol as it can hurt the bone marrow while it heals and also harm your liver. The doctor will let you know when it’s safe to consume alcohol and the limited amount
  • Avoid smoking tobacco or other substances
  • Eat healthy balanced diet, full of fruits and vegetables, lean protein and whole grains to provide all the required nutrients to your body. This will also help you maintain a healthy weight and lowers the chances of other health problems.
  • Drink sufficient amounts of fluids. Do not drink grapefruit juice or eat grapefruit as it can affect some of your medications. (Talk to your doctor about this and confirm)
  • Regular but light physical activity (as you are still recovering) can help you strengthen your body and remain energetic. Discuss with your doctor and medical team about the diet and exercise plan for post-transplant care).

 

The cost of Bone marrow transplant depends on the type of transplant procedure, the kind of disease and condition, overall health status, age, weight and many other factors. For precise quotes, send us your medical reports and query at care@lyfboat.com

Hospitals in India offer best Bone marrow transplant services at highly affordable cost range and with excellent clinical outcomes. To know more about the bone marrow transplantation hospitals and doctors in India, contact Lyfboat. 

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