Frequently Asked Questions:

Bone Marrow Transplantation: Autologous and Allogeneic

How long will I have to be in the hospital for my transplant?

For an autologous transplant, it is usually 3-4 weeks. It may be longer in the case of an allogeneic transplant. After being discharged you will need special care at home for another 2-3 months for full recovery.

When can I go back to work?

Full recovery can take up to 6-12 months. Most people can go back to work after 3 months in the case of an autologous stem cell transplant, but it may be longer in the case of allogeneic transplants. This is also influenced by the type of work you do.

Will my immune system be weak after the transplant?

Full immunological recovery can take up to a full year even after an autologous transplant and even longer in the case of allogeneic transplants as the patient needs to be on immunosuppressive medications. This means that you will need to be on certain antibiotics to prevent certain types of infections and maintain certain precautions in your lifestyle. These will be discussed in detail by your transplant team. You will also need to be revaccinated for infectious diseases upon recovery.

Is there any risk to stem cell donation?

Stem cell donation is perfectly safe. Each donor is evaluated by the medical team prior to donation .The only absolute contraindications are cancer and certain types of infections. In the case of a sibling transplant, the donor is generally required to come to the transplant center but in the case of an unrelated donor, stem cells are collected locally and sent to the transplant center. All information is kept confidential

What is the age limit for transplants?

As people are living longer and healthier lives , we do not use chronologic age as a cut off for transplants anymore but rather, the patient’s ”physiologic age”, to determine transplant eligibility. This means that even if you are older, but in good shape, you could potentially be a candidate.