Without anesthesia a bone marrow test is fairly painful, according to the Mayo Clinic. In the usual procedure, the patient is given at least a local anesthesia. Patients who are anxious about pain are given the option of intravenous sedation.
The bone marrow is aspirated, which means that liquid marrow tissue is removed, and then biopsied, which refers to the removal of solid marrow tissue. In adults, these procedures usually involve the posterior iliac crest of the hip bone or sometimes the breast bone, claims the Mayo Clinic. In children, the bone marrow test is usually performed on a leg bone.
The doctor first aspirates a few samples of bone marrow fluid through a hollow needle, says the Mayo Clinic. He then employs an even larger needle to collect a core of bone marrow.