Bone marrow biopsy

A bone marrow biopsy is a procedure in which small samples of marrow and bone are taken from the hip under local anaesthesia.

As all blood cells (red cells, white cells, and platelets) are made in the bone marrow, this test is useful in the diagnosis and management of diseases of the blood —as well as many other diseases.

You must make an appointment for this test, which is performed only at Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology Taringa Central and regional laboratories. On some occasions, your doctor may organise for the procedure to be performed in a hospital setting under sedation.

Please telephone Patient Services Support on 1300 732 030 for the location of the laboratory nearest to you that performs this test.

Preparing for this test

  • If you choose to have the test under local anaesthesia, no preparation is required.
  • If you choose to have the test under sedation you must not eat or drink (nil by mouth) for 6 hours prior to the procedure.

Please note that if you choose to be sedated, you will not be able to drive for 24 hours. Please have a driver available to take you home.

After the test

  • If sedation has been given, you cannot drive for 24 hours. Please have a driver available to take you home.
  • For 24 hours after the procedure keep the site covered with the dressing that has been applied.
  • Showering is acceptable after the biopsy but please DO NOT bath, swim, or use a spa for 48 hours.
  • Local bruising and discomfort may occur. Paracetamol, NOT aspirin, is recommended if analgesia medication is required.
  • Please notify your doctor if there is persistent bleeding, or if pain, or redness develop at the site within 48 hours after the procedure. (Such events are extremely rare.)
  • Depending on the tests that have been requested, your doctor will receive the results within 1–3 days.
  • An out-of-pocket fee may be charged for any Medicare non-rebatable tests requested by your doctor.

Item number 34053 - Issue date August 2018