Bone-marrow transplants prolong the life of patients who might otherwise die. As with all major organ transplants, however, it is difficult to find bone-marrow donors, and the cost of surgery is very high. The donor is usually a sibling with compatible tissue. The more siblings you have, the better the chance of finding the right match. Occasionally, unrelated donors act as a source for bone-marrow transplants. The hospitalization period is three to six weeks. During this time, you are isolated and under strict monitoring because of the increased risk of infection. Attentive follow-up care is required for two to three months after discharge from the hospital. It takes about six months to a year for the immune system to fully recover from this procedure. Relatively normal activities are resumed after consulting with your doctor.
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