Bone marrow transplant - discharge
You have had a bone marrow transplant. A bone marrow transplant is a procedure to replace damaged or destroyed bone marrow with healthy bone marrow stem cells.
Transplant - bone marrow - discharge; Stem cell transplant - discharge; Hematopoietic stem cell transplant - discharge; Reduced intensity; Non-myeloablative transplant - discharge; Mini transplant - discharge; Allogenic bone marrow transplant - discharge; Autologous bone marrow transplant - discharge; Umbilical cord blood transplant - discharge
What to Expect at Home
It will take 6 months or more for your blood counts and immune system to fully recover. During this time, your risk for infection, bleeding, and skin problems is higher.
Your body is still weak. It may take up to a year to feel like you did before your transplant. You will likely get tired very easily. You may also have a poor appetite.
If you received bone marrow from someone else, you may develop signs of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Ask your health care provider to tell you what signs of GVHD you should watch for.
Take good care of your mouth. Dry mouth or sores from medicines you need to take for the bone marrow transplant can lead to an increase in bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria can cause mouth infection, which can spread to other parts of your body.
Rinse your mouth 4 times a day with a salt and baking soda solution. (Mix one half teaspoon, or 2.5 grams, of salt and one half teaspoon or 2.5 grams, of baking soda in 8 ounces or 240 milliliters of water.)
Your doctor may prescribe a mouth rinse. DO NOT use mouth rinses with alcohol in them.
Use your regular lip care products to keep your lips from drying and cracking. Tell your doctor if you develop new mouth sores or pain.
Avoid foods and drinks that have a lot of sugar in them. Chew sugarless gums or suck on sugar-free popsicles or sugar-free hard candies.
Take care of your dentures, braces, or other dental products.
Take care not to get infections for up to 1 year or more after your transplant.
Wash your hands with soap and water often, including:
Keep your house clean. Stay away from crowds. Ask visitors who have a cold to wear a mask, or not to visit. DO NOT do yard work or handle flowers and plants.
Be careful with pets and animals.
Ask your doctor what vaccines you may need and when to get them.
Other things you can do to stay healthy include:
You will need close follow-up care from your transplant doctor and nurse for at least 3 months. Be sure to keep all your appointments.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
Bashir Q, Champlin R. Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 30.
Be The Match website. Resources to help you thrive after transplant. bethematch.org/for-patients-and-families/support-and-resources/educational-resources/survive-resources. Accessed February 15, 2018.
Heslop HE. Overview and choice of donor of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. In: Hoffman R, Benz EJ, Silberstein LE, et al, eds. Hematology: Basic Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 103.
Review Date: 1/31/2018
Reviewed By: Todd Gersten, MD, Hematology/Oncology, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, Wellington, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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