Bone Marrow Transplant Process

The bone marrow transplant (BMT) process can be broken up into six phases. Each of these phases is explained in more detail on the following pages:

  1. The Transplant Decision -- includes the initial consultation visit, pre-transplant work-up and evaluation and the informed consent conference.
  2. Before Admission -- involving medical procedures, for example, catheter placement and autologous bone marrow stem cell collection.
  3. Admission to the BMT Unit -- five to 10 days before the transplant, when the patient undergoes a conditioning regimen of high doses of chemotherapy and sometimes radiation therapy.
  4. Day of the Transplant (Day 0) -- when healthy marrow stem cells are delivered into the bloodstream via an intravenous tube.
  5. After the Transplant -- when the bone marrow stem cells migrate to the bones and begin to produce healthy red cells, white cells and platelets. It is in this critical stage that complications of the chemotherapy and radiation therapy as well as Graft-versus-Host Disease (GvHD) may develop.
  6. Leaving the Hospital -- preparing for the return home and learning how to care child outside of the hospital.

BMT recipients have special dietary concerns that help make their transplant successful. There are also emotional aspects to transplantation for both the recipients and their families.

We have identified many resources that may help you and your family during your stay in the transplant unit.


Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Blood & Marrow Transplant

Blood & Marrow Transplant Program
1975 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 476-2188
Fax: (415) 502-4867

Blood & Marrow Transplant Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Phone: (415) 353-2986
Fax: (415) 476-4057

Patient Experiences