Total Body Irradiation (TBI)
Some children receive total body irradiation (TBI) as part of the stem cell transplant process at Phoenix Children's Hospital.
Before TBI is started, the child sees a radiation oncologist to discuss the treatment plan. At this time, the patient's body is measured to calculate the dosage and distribution of radiation.
During the meeting, the doctor:
- Answers questions
- Discusses side effects
- Obtains consent for the treatment
- Reviews any previous radiation therapy that has been received
After the consultation, a TBI schedule is planned.
TBI is given during the first few days after admission, although TBI may sometimes be started as an outpatient.
TBI takes place in the Radiation Treatment department of Good Samaritan Hospital. The patient is transported by ambulance and may be accompanied by a registered nurse 2–3 times a day during the days of treatment.
TBI is not painful or uncomfortable at the time of the procedure. However, it may be scary or cause anxiety for some patients. For this reason, medication may be given to make the patient sleep during the radiation treatment and to help them hold still.
The following are common short term side effects of TBI:
- Being tired
- Hair loss
- Low blood counts
- Possible sterility
- Rash or redness of skin, much like a sunburn
- Nausea and vomiting
If you have any questions about TBI or any other part of the stem cell transplant process, please contact us.