Autologous Transplant

Delayed Side Effects

The body feels the effects of the chemotherapy or radiation about a week after transplantation. When the blood counts are low, you feel like you have the flu and may not want to do much. This will last for about two weeks and will decrease as your blood counts improve. You may notice a number of other symptoms as well, including:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Changes in vision
  • Mouth and throat soreness
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty sleeping and fatigue
  • Infection
  • Hair loss
  • Skin reactions
  • Graft-versus-host disease

Find detailed information about these side effects in the Treatment section of the Autologous Transplant Guide.

Preparing to Leave the Hospital

When your neutrophil count is over 1,000, your team will start talking to you about discharge. You will need to be sure that arrangements have been made for someone to stay with you after you are discharged, to assist you with daily needs and to be available for clinic visit transportation. You or a family member will learn how to care for your catheter.

To be discharged, you will need to be:

  • Walking
  • Eating at least 1,000 calories daily
  • Drinking at least one quart of fluid daily
  • Free of active medical problems
  • Without a fever
  • Off intravenous medications and taking your pills without problems
  • Show that you can care for your intravenous catheter if it is needed after discharge

The case manager will assist with arrangements for home care. The nurse practitioner will go over your discharge and outpatient instructions and the pharmacist will review your medications with you.

Routine Outpatient Visits

Your BMT doctor and nurse practitioner will follow you closely after your transplantation. You will have blood work done and, if necessary, will receive intravenous medications or fluids.

Keeping Healthy

Your risk of infection will remain higher than normal for at least three months after autologous BMT, even though your body is again producing white blood cells. The highest risk is within the first month of leaving the hospital; during this period you should spend most of your time at home and away from people, which is called house arrest. You will be instructed on how to help prevent infection, including washing your hands, avoiding large crowds and refraining from smoking.

Get more information about taking care of yourself after a BMT in the Outpatient Care section of the Autologous Transplant Guide.

More Information

Find more information about the procedure and transplant experience in the Autologous Transplant Guide.

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers


Hematology and Blood and Marrow Transplant
400 Parnassus Ave., Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94143
Existing Patients: (415) 353-2421
New Patients: (415) 353-2051
Fax: (415) 353-2467
Appointment information

Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

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