Less common problems

Graft failure

Sometimes the donor stem cells do not grow and make enough new blood cells. This is known as graft failure.

If there are not enough new, healthy blood cells, side effects such as infections, bruising, bleeding and anaemia can cause serious problems.

Total graft failure is very serious but rare. The only way to treat it is by having another infusion (drip) of stem cells from the donor after some conditioning drugs.

Veno-occlusive disease (VOD)

In some people, blood vessels in the liver may become swollen and blocked soon after transplant. This is known as veno-occlusive disease or sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (SOS). It can cause pain or swelling in your tummy or right side, or jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes). Some people notice weight gain or swollen ankles and legs because of a build-up of fluid.

If this happens, you need treatment immediately as it can be life-threatening. You will be given treatment until your liver recovers. You will need to stay in hospital for this treatment.

Back to Side effects of donor stem cell (allogeneic) transplants

Potential side effects

Your doctors and nurses monitor you closely after your transplant. They give you drugs to reduce certain side effects.