Stem Cell Transplant

Also known as: stem cell transplantation, bone marrow transplant.

What is stem cell transplant?

Stem cells are pluripotent cells that are capable of developing into any type of cell or tissue. Pediatric Blood and Marrow Stem Cell transplant encompassed a procedure in which a healthy hematopoietic stem cell (graft) replaces a child’s abnormal stem cells. This procedure is often used for blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, but also for other blood disorders, and non-malignant conditions.

What happens during the procedure?

A stem cell transplant is a major medical procedure that requires a comprehensive evaluation and a lengthy hospital stay. You will typically stay in the hospital for one week ahead of transplant. Upon admission, a narrow tube in a large vein is placed; this is where the stem cells will be infused at the time of the transplant. Therapy is used to destroy the existing abnormal stem cells, thus also guaranteeing an open space for the incoming new cells.

Is any special preparation needed?

A comprehensive evaluation called work up is directed right prior to transplant admission. This help stem cell physician to prepare the patient for the procedure, but also make personalized adjustment to each individual transplant.

What are the risk factors?

Patients typically have to stay in the hospital for several weeks or months to ensure that the transplant was successful. A weakened immune system, infections, stem cell rejection, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth sores, skin rashes, hair loss, liver damage and others are all possible complications of stem cell transplant. All those potential complications are discussed in length with patients and their families. In addition, many of these potential complications are addressed ahead of time with different medical strategies.

Reviewed by: Jorge Ricardo Galvez Silva, MD

This page was last updated on: 9/12/2018 8:17:56 AM

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