Bone marrow transplant is a procedure performed on diseased or damaged bone marrow and replaced with healthy blood-producing stem cells. It is a successful life-saving procedure and India is becoming one of the biggest centres for these transplants. The first transplant in the world was performed around the 1950s, and this procedure is comparatively a new concept, gaining popularity in India.
Who needs to undergo this operation?
A person with health complications such as aplastic anaemia, or blood cancers like leukaemia and lymphoma, or someone with immune deficiencies needs to undergo these transplants. Bone marrow is a spongy soft tissue found in human bones. This tissue’s main job is to produce stem blood cells that give rise to the white blood cells, red blood cells, and the blood platelets.
Types of Bone marrow transplant:
Depending upon the requirements of the patient and the kind of donor available, the bone marrow transplant is categorised into three main types: autologous bone marrow transplant, Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, and Allogenic bone marrow transplant. Though the initial procedure of treating the patient for all the types is the same, bone marrow transplant cost for each of these varies from a case to case basis.
Process of Transplant
Before the transplant, blood is drawn out, and the donor is injected with medications to transfer the stem cells. Some patients might need to undergo treatments which involved a mild or high dose of chemotherapy. These radiations are responsible for killing the cancer cells and replace them with healthy new stem cells.
The patient can go back to living a normal healthy life within 6-12 months, depending on the recovery rate of the individual. A lot of hospitals pan India are well-equipped with high-efficiency technology to minimise the risk of infections. The renowned hospitals like Indraprastha Apollo hospital, MIOT, Wockhardt, Artemis Hospital are considered as the top options for foreigners and NRIs who visit India to get these surgeries done.
These centres cater to both national and international patients throughout the year. The centres are self-sustained and have cord blood facility to collect blood units. Of course, these additional facilities are included in the bone marrow transplant price, but they are a value-added service and a boon to the patients. The doctors and the surgeons at these centres are highly qualified. And the centres follow stringent infection control norms, extremely crucial for the Bone marrow transplant patients.
It is said that one Indian country alone can build the world’s most significant stem cell registry. However, donors are hesitant and not very keen on stepping forward. Unawareness amongst the general public is the primary cause of this issue, more than the fear of bone marrow transplant cost. Not many people are aware that they could be the sole hope for someone’s survival. It is a challenge to educate and earn trust to ensure that medical procedures can be handled in a better way. Since every patient is genetically different,the donors need to step out of the cultural taboos and extend support to the affected.