A bone marrow biopsy may be done in the health care provider's office or in a hospital. The sample may be taken from the pelvic or breast bone. Sometimes, other areas are used.
The health care provider will clean the skin and inject a numbing medicine into the area. Rarely, you may be given medicine to help you relax.
The doctor inserts the biopsy needle into the bone. The center of the needle is removed and the hollowed needle is moved deeper into the bone. This captures a tiny sample, or core, of bone marrow within the needle. The sample and needle are removed. Pressure and a bandage are applied to the biopsy site.
A bone marrow aspirate may also be performed, usually before the biopsy is taken. After the skin is numbed, the needle is inserted into the bone, and a syringe is used to withdraw the liquid bone marrow. If this is done, the needle will be removed and either repositioned, or another needle may be used for the biopsy.