What to Expect

Wait Times

There are many variables that can affect the length of time a patient may wait for transplant. Wait times for blood and marrow transplant are virtually non-existent, however the variables such as the type of transplant needed, whether a related donor has been identified or whether a non-related donor match exists can all effect wait times.

Find out more about wait times at the National Marrow Donor registry.

During the Procedure

  • The time of the transplant procedure will vary from one to three hours, (or longer) depending on the type of blood and marrow transplant.
  • Blood and marrow transplant patients should expect to stay in the hospital for 3 to 4 weeks for an allogeneic transplant and a few days to a week for an autologous stem cell transplant. Patients will need to secure local housing for approximately 30 days for autologous transplant and 100 days for allogeneic transplant. Our length of stay in the hospital setting is among the nation’s shortest, designed to reduce the risk of infection for the patient. MUSC’s beautiful new blood and marrow transplant facility features comfortable rooms with lovely views.
  • Inpatient and outpatient treatments will be combined and tailored to each patient’s needs. Post-transplant treatments can last from a week to several months.
  • Caregivers must be present around the clock following the patient’s discharge from the hospital. For the autologous transplant patient, a caregiver is required for 30 days. For an allogeneic transplant patient, a caregiver is required for 100 days post-transplant. Patient’s may rotate caregivers; however, each caregiver is required to be present for a minimum of a week at a time when not admitted to the hospital during the transplant phase to ensure consistency of care.

Following the return home, patients increase the chances of their transplant being successful by:

  • Taking new medications daily.
  • Washing hands frequently.
  • Avoiding sick people.
  • Avoiding gardening.
  • Dedicated caregivers.
  • Avoiding large crowds while taking immunosuppressive medication.
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