MDS Surgery: Pros & Cons


MDS, also known as myelodysplastic syndrome, is a disease in which the bone marrow fails to produce enough healthy blood cells (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets). It can cause anemia and/or other symptoms. The risk of developing MDS increases with age. The treatment for MDS depends on the severity of your symptoms and may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy or stem cell transplantation (SCT).


  • Minimally invasive procedure:
  • MDS surgery is a minimally invasive procedure which means that it does not require large incisions and long recovery time. The patient can be discharged the same day and resume normal activities quickly.
  • Faster recovery time: MDS surgery involves small incisions and does not require a long stay in hospital or rehabilitation center as compared to other surgeries such as open heart surgeries, knee replacements etc. The patient can be back to work in a few days after surgery with minimal pain and discomfort.
  • Better chance of survival: In most MDS procedures, there is no need for blood transfusion while some may require only one unit transfusion (1 unit = 1 pint). This reduces the risk of infection because there are less chances of donor blood carrying bacterial infections into your body during surgery.


  • Side Effects of Chemotherapy: The side effects of chemotherapy depend on the type of chemo given and the duration. Symptoms can vary from nausea and vomiting to hair loss, mouth sores and severe diarrhea. For some people, it’s important to know that this process does not always work. In fact, most people who undergo chemotherapy will get worse before they get better, as their immune system is weakened by the treatment itself. So if you are thinking about MDS surgery for leukemia treatment then make sure you ask your doctor about how long does it take to recover from MDS surgery?

(1) What is MDS Surgery?

Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a rare blood cancer that affects the bone marrow, the soft inner part of bones where blood cells are made. MDS stands for myelodysplastic syndrome because it causes your body’s bone marrow to produce abnormal or “dysplastic” cells. Most people with MDS have anemia (low red blood cell count), reduced platelet counts and abnormal white blood cell counts; but some may not show any symptoms at all.

MDS can be treated if caught early enough with chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation; however, there is no cure yet available for this disease.

(2) Symptoms of MDS

The first thing to know about MDS is that the symptoms are not always easy to spot. Sometimes, it can take years for someone to be diagnosed with MDS, and this delay can greatly affect their chances of survival.

There are several signs and symptoms of MDS, but here’s a quick rundown:

​* Fever or chills

​* Fatigue or weakness

​* Shortness of breath (dyspnea)

​* Easy bruising or bleeding gums

(3) What Causes MDS?

MDS is a cancer of the bone marrow, but it’s not exactly like other cancers. The bone marrow produces blood cells. When you have MDS, some of your bone marrow cells are abnormal and don’t work properly to produce normal blood cells.

The exact cause of MDS isn’t known, but your risk may be increased by:

  • Age—the older you get, the more likely you are to develop MDS.
  • Certain genetic conditions—these include myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) linked to chromosome 5q deletion or del(5q), paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), pure red cell aplasia syndromes such as Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) and Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS).

Other things that may increase your chances of developing MDS include alcohol abuse/misuse; exposure to certain chemicals like benzene; radiation treatments used before 1996; chemotherapy used for certain cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma; organ transplantation; using medications such as tamoxifen for breast cancer treatment which can also cause complications with the immune system causing autoimmune diseases including lupus erythematosus also known as SLE inflammatory disease

(4) MDS Surgery Procedure

MDS surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The surgery takes about 2 hours, and you will be able to go home the same day.

MDS surgery is done under aseptic conditions in an operating room by an orthopedic surgeon or a hematologist (a doctor who specializes in blood diseases).

The surgeon removes bone marrow from the hip bone using an incision on the side of your hip joint. A second incision may be made in order to remove any remaining diseased cells that didn’t get removed through aspiration. This can also allow for a larger amount of healthy cells to be saved than if only one incision was used (this second incision isn’t always necessary). If it’s needed, this can be done under local anesthesia so that you won’t feel any pain during recovery after surgery! Once all diseased cells are removed, they’re put into a sterile bag where they’ll stay until they reach their destination—your bloodstream!

(5) Types Of Anesthesia

It’s the reason you can have a conversation with a friend while having your teeth cleaned, but not after getting a root canal. It’s also a means of unconsciousness that allows doctors to operate on various parts of your body. Anesthesia is administered by an anesthesiologist, who is also responsible for monitoring its effects throughout the procedure.

The most common forms of anesthesia are general, local and regional anesthesia:

(6) Steps In The MDS Surgery Procedure

  • Prepare for surgery: Your doctor will ask you to stop taking certain medications, including aspirin and blood thinners. You may need to have a bowel prep to clear your bowels before the procedure.
  • Anesthesia: You will be given an intravenous sedative that will make you relaxed and sleepy so that you do not feel pain or anxiety during surgery.
  • Surgery: During this phase, your upper jaw (maxilla) is separated from your lower jaw (mandible). Then, the maxilla is moved forward into position by wiring it to the bones of your face with titanium screws (plates), which are surgically inserted into place on both sides of your head.* Recovery: After surgery has been completed, an oral surgeon will remove all metal plates from inside of patient’s mouth.* Aftercare: Once healing has occurred after two weeks following surgery*, patients should avoid bending over or lifting anything heavy for four weeks following MDS treatment.* Follow Up Care: Patients must visit their doctors regularly in order to monitor recovery progress and assess any complications arising from surgical intervention.*

(7) Side Effects Of MDS Surgery

Side effects of MDS surgery include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These side effects are temporary and can be managed with medications.

Chemotherapy and blood stem cell transplant are a part of the treatment.

You will be given chemotherapy and blood stem cell transplant to prepare your body for the bone marrow procedure.

Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses powerful drugs to kill the cancer cells in your body. It can cause nausea or vomiting, hair loss, diarrhea and other side effects.

Blood stem cell transplant involves replacing your bone marrow with new healthy blood cells. This process may take about two weeks if it’s done under general anesthesia (you’re asleep), but it could take up to six months if you have an outpatient procedure (you are awake). In many cases, this will involve having a large needle inserted into a vein in your chest and then hooked up to an infusion pump that delivers large doses of chemotherapy over several days (known as peripheral blood stem cell collection).


After reading this, you should be able to make an informed decision about your treatment. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with MDS, I hope this article helped shed some light on what to expect from the disease and how it affects our lives.