What to Expect


Wait Times

Many variables can affect the length of time a patient may wait for a 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 affect 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 transplants will be performed either inpatient or outpatient based on individual cases after the patient evaluation. Autologous patients typically stay 3 to 5 days in Charleston for stem cell collection and then 4 weeks for transplant. Allogeneic transplant patients typically stay in Charleston for 100 days to receive care. Patients will need to secure local housing based on the amount of time required to stay in Charleston for their transplant care. 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 Health’s 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. Patients 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.