Although the experience during these phases may be quite different for each patient, a general overview is provided. There are three main phases to the BMT process, which will be reviewed here:
Transplant Treatment Process
For your transplant journey, the transplant process is divided into five steps to guide a patient. The steps begin with how to prepare for the journey and include what to expect along the way.
1. Preparation - The preparation phase begins when the patient arrives at the treatment centre and begins the process of medical evaluation, orientation, informed consent, and other preliminary activities like
a. Complete discussion regarding the procedure and its complications
b. Central Venous Catheter Evaluation and insertion
c. Bone Marrow/Stem Cells Harvest
2. Conditioning – The conditioning phase begins the actual transplant process. Patient is admitted and during this phase, high-dose chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or both are initiated. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are given in doses that obliterate the marrow function and result in the greatest possibility of destroying the disease.
3. Transplant – The transplant phase is actually short and involves the infusion of donor bone marrow or stem cells. After the conditioning regimen is completed, the patient receives the infusion of bone marrow or stem cells over half to one hour like blood transfusion.
4. Engraftment and Early Recovery – Approximately 10 to 28 days after transplant, signs that the new bone marrow or stem cells are engrafting (growing and developing) can be expected. Close monitoring will continue along with supportive care. Preparation for the return of the patient to the referring physician or centre will begin.
5. Long Term Recovery-The long term recovery phase involves leaving the treatment center,dealing with any ongoing clinical issues, and re-establishing life patterns. Patients need to follow up for long term complications of BMT.