Bone Marrow or Stem Cell Transplant – A procedure that gives a new lease of life to patients suffering some blood disorder disease. India is a trusted destination for bone marrow transplants. There are the best of hospitals, trained and experienced surgeons, advanced treatment facilities, and stringent infection control norms for bone marrow transplant in India. However, due to lack of awareness about the available facilities, unavailability of the donor, and the high cost, all are not able to gain the benefits of this treatment.
It is essential to be aware about the procedure and take right treatment decision for best cure.
In this article, we will look at the following:
- What is Bone marrow transplant or Surgery
- Types of bone marrow transplant
- Who get Bone Marrow or stem cell transplant?
- Bone Marrow / Stem Cell Donor
- Benefits & recovery of Stem Cell Transplant
- Cost of Bone Marrow Transplant in India
- Allogenic vs Autogenic BMT cost
- Top hospitals for Bone marrow Transplant in India
What is Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT)?
A bone marrow is the soft, fatty tissue inside the bones that contain stem cells which produce RBCs, WBCs, and platelets. When the stems cells fail to produce healthy blood cells, a bone marrow surgery is recommended to replace a damaged bone marrow with the healthy one. The new stem cells help the marrow make healthy blood cells again.
Who get Bone Marrow or Stem Cell Transplant?
Your doctor may advice bone marrow surgical transplant, in case of diseases such as blood cancers (leukemia, lymphoma, myelodysplasia, and multiple myeloma), aplastic anemia, congenital neutropenia, severe immunodeficiency syndromes, sickle cell anemia, and thalassemia. Any cancer patient may also need stem cell transplant when chemotherapy and radiation sessions damage his/her bone marrow.
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Types of Bone Marrow Transplant
There are two types of bone marrow (stem cell) transplants:
- Autologous/AUTO transplantation (the transplanted stem cells come from the body of the person having the transplant)
- Allogeneic/ALLO transplantation (a donor’s stem cells are required)
Bone Marrow / Stem Cell Donor
When the patient’s own blood cells are too diseased to be given back to him/her, a donor’s stem cells are required. A BMT donor is one whose tissue most closely matches the patient’s tissue.
Matching donor is generally from a family – a parent, child, brother or sister. But you can get best match from other volunteer too. A 100% bone marrow matching is not necessary but closer the match, greater the chances for a positive outcome.
India currently has three bone marrow registries – DATRI, a non-profit initiative based in Chennai; Marrow Donor Registry of India, an NGO by Tata Trust; and Bharat Stem Cell Registry based in Delhi.
Another new option for BMT is stem cells from the umbilical cord and placenta of a newborn. If the stem cells are frozen in the stem cell bank at the time of the baby’s birth, they can be used later for BMT. This type of stem cell transplant is called Cord Blood Transplant.
Benefits of Stem Cell Transplant
- Bone marrow starts to produce new healthy blood cells
- Blood counts levels increase
- Help you to live longer and healthier life
- New blood cells may also attack and destroy cancer cells
- Treats many diseases like cancer, sickle cell anemia etc.
Recovery Time after BMT
In an allogeneic transplant the initial recovery period is of about three months while for an autologous transplant it may take about one month. Your blood count would begin to improve after 10-20 days of stem cell transplant. You would be monitored and protected from infections. Gradually, as your blood counts rise, WBCs will protect you against infections. You medical condition and other drugs side-effects would improve.
In case of an ALLO stem cell transplant, you will be on antimicrobial medications for long and need more follow-up visits compared to AUTO stem cell transplant. Follow the doctor’s advice to a letter. Take all precautions and guidelines mentioned by your healthcare team for best results. During recovery process there would be phases of anxiety and distress. Be positive and maintain healthy habits to overcome.
Which hospital in India are the best for Bone Marrow Surgery?
Today the country has about 200 hospitals which provide highly specialized and personalized care to bone marrow transplant patients. They are adept in conducting all types of procedures like bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy etc.
Private hospitals like Apollo Hospital, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Wockhardt Hospitals, Medanta- The Medicity, Artemis Hospital, SIMS Hospital, BLK Hospital, Sri Ramakrishna Hospital Coimbatore, Global Hospital, Kokilaben Hospital, Continental Hospital, Narayana Multispecialty Hospital are some of the renowned hospitals of the country where patients from around the world come to get treated.
While selecting the right stem cell transplant hospital, you will have to look into several factors like highly experienced doctors, availability of latest technology, expertise in patient care, and good infrastructure.
Cost of Bone Marrow Transplant in India
The procedure of stem cell surgery or transplant is expensive and most of us are not in a position to take that financial challenge, especially if there is no insurance cover. So it is advisable to take a well-informed treatment decision.
Cost of bone marrow transplant varies with hospitals and cities as every hospital has its own infrastructure, surgeon, support, and other tests/examination facilities charges which finally add to the total transplant cost.
In a private hospital, a bone marrow transplant may cost you between US $ 24,000-46,000 depending on the type of transplant. This cost is still much less than the cost of a bone marrow transplant in the developed countries like the U.S. or UK where it would cost over US$100,000- $200,000.
Check Detailed : Organ Transplant Cost Estimate in India
Allogenic vs. Autogenic Bone Marrow Transplant Cost
Allogeneic transplant where a donor is required is costlier than autogenic transplants. In India you do not have to pay to the donor for stem cells but his/her medical investigations and harvesting procedures cost etc., would be borne by you.
The cost of an autogenic stem cell transplant in India is about US $ 24,000 – 30,000 while an allogenic bone marrow transplant would cost around US $30,000-46,000. The costs given here are approximate. They may vary with patient to patient based on medical condition and also subject to change with the currency value at that time.
Now, let’s take a quick look at some of the good hospitals for BMT treatment in major cities of India.
Bone Marrow Transplant hospitals in Delhi NCR
Delhi has about 30 reputed hospitals offering both types bone marrow transplants. Some of the famous hospitals of the city are Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI), Jay Pee Hospital, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Artemis Hospital, Medanta – The Medicity, BLK Super Specialty Hospital, Columbia Asia Hospital, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Dharamshila Hospital and Research Centre, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital, Delhi State Cancer Institute, and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
Bone Marrow Transplant Hospitals in Mumbai
There are about 30 cancer hospitals in Mumbai offering BMT. Kokilaben Hospital, Fortis Hiranandani Hospital, S L Raheja Hospital, Global Hospital, Wockhardt Super Speciality Hospital, Nanavati Hospital, Jaslok Hospital, Dr. L H Hiranandani Hospital, Lilavati Hospital, Seven Hills Hospital, PD Hinduja National Hospital, and Breach Candy Hospital are some of the well-known reputed hospitals in the city.
Bone Marrow Transplant Hospitals in Kolkata
Kolkata has about 15 hospitals providing world-class facilities such as Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Apollo Gleneagles Hospital, Fortis Hospital, Desun Hospital, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Cancer Research Institute, Cancer Centre Welfare Home and Research Institute, and Charnock Hospital.
Bone Marrow Transplant Hospitals in Bangalore
There are over 25 hospitals in Bangalore such as Fortis Hospital, Apollo Hospitals, Mazumdar Shaw Medical Centre, BGS Global Hospital, M S Ramaiah Memorial Hospital, Manipal Hospital, HCG Cancer Centre, and Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology.
Bone Marrow Transplant Hospitals in Chennai
Chennai has over 24 good specialty hospitals like Apollo Hospital, Bharathiraja Speciality Hospital and Research Centre, SIMS Hospitals, Chennai Meenakshi Multispeciality Hospital, Vijaya Hospital, MIOT International, Dr. Kamakshi Memorial Hospital and Adyar Cancer Institute etc.
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