Before the BMT process begins, you will need to have a medical examination, or workup. At this appointment, we will evaluate whether a transplant is a safe, effective option for you.
The workup will be completed at the outpatient Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinic. When your workup has been scheduled, the social worker will call and let you know what to expect. During the workup, members of the medical team complete laboratory and diagnostic tests in order to make sure that you are physically ready for the transplant. The workup evaluation takes approximately one week. You should plan on spending six to eight hours each day having diagnostic tests and meeting with healthcare team members. The tests will help physicians evaluate your lung, liver, kidney, and heart function. Overall, the workup provides the medical team with the information necessary to start the transplant process.
The evaluation includes:
- An in-depth medical history and physical exam
- Blood tests
- Blood, urine, and other cultures
- Kidney function evaluation
- Chest X-rays
- Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy (if there is a possibility that the disease may affect the bone marrow)
- Heart evaluation, including an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) and an echocardiogram or MUGA scan.
- A spinal tap (if there is a possibility that the disease may affect the spinal fluid)
- Consultation with other medical specialties as needed
- Radiation therapy consultation (if needed)
- CT or MRI scans (if needed)
In addition to tests and medical consultations, you meet with a physician and nurse coordinator to discuss the BMT process in detail. They will give you specific information about what can be expected. This is a time to ask more questions about the transplant process. You will also meet with a social worker. The social worker will provide you with information and resources to address your non-medical needs, such as temporary housing and work-related concerns.