What are the components of the Stem Cell Procedure?
1. Stem Cells
The patient’s adult stem cells can be extracted, or transferred from two sources: fat tissue or bone marrow.
We normally use fat tissue as our patient’s stem cell source. Stem cells from fat are obtained from a patient through an in-office mini-liposuction, usually in the abdomen. The fat is then processed in a centrifuge where the stem cells become isolated and available for injection. These stem cells may then combined with platelet-rich plasma and Extracellular Matrix to create an autologous regenerative injection.
2. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
PRP has been administered worldwide for years, but recently there have been numerous high profile professional athletes such as Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning treated with PRP bringing attention to this treatment.
The patient’s own blood is taken and placed in a centrifuge to separate the platelets from the other blood components. The platelets are then concentrated and activated with calcium chloride. This causes the platelets to release growth factors that lead to improved natural tissue healing. The injected platelets begin the process of regeneration and remodeling of the damaged area.
3. Extracellular Fiber Matrix
AFM is derived from human placental tissues. It is an FDA approved Extracellular Matrix tissue-regenerating technology that has been used extensively in the fields of medicine and surgery to stimulate stem cells and enhance wound healing. AFM is comprised of naturally-occurring collagens, proteins and growth factors which give AFM enormous potential for healing and tissue regeneration.
How does Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) help?
Platelets are a vital component in your blood, without it you cannot create clots from bleeding, or stimulate healing. Platelets contain growth factors and signaling components. The growth factors and stimulating components work hand and hand to signal stem cells to differential and travel to a specific area.
Because of this hand to hand interaction, we found that by using PRP with stem cells we have a 5 fold increase in the effectiveness. Therefore, we have tailored our therapeutic application to obtain the best effects with the latest and most innovated findings.
Is stem cell and PRP therapy safe?
Absolutely, we are using what YOUR body makes. We are concentrating the vital parts necessary for healing and transplanting it to the area needing it most.
There have been no indications of direct harm or injury by Stem Cell or PRP therapy when used by trained professionals. Our healthcare professionals have completed training in application of Stem Cells and PRP.
Why is there so much controversy with stem cells?
To clarify, there are 2 major types of stem cells: adult stem cells, which include mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and embryonic stem cells (ESCs). The majority of the controversy surrounding stem cells is directed to the latter. Embryonic cells are the earliest form of stem cells, from the earliest stage of creation, when the egg is fertilized. Although highly pliable and hold the most potential for curing certain illnesses, FDA restricts embryonic stem cell use due to various ethical issues and potential scientific risk factors. For our purpose you will hear us refer to stem cells synonymously as adult mesenchymal and hematopoietic stem cells which have the potential to create cartilage, muscle, bone and structure.
What determines the outcome of my Stem cell and PRP therapy?
Various factors determine the outcome. Due to the changes in cells as we age, we found that age is directly proportional to the effectiveness of the therapy. However, outcome depends on the extent of damage, disease and the location being treated.
We do not like to treat more than 2 areas at a time as the effectiveness can be decreased. Treating more than 1 area at a time is determined on a case by case basis.
How many times do I have to come for therapy?
Most patients need only 1 treatment but you could potentially have a follow up pure PRP injection which is thought of as a “booster shot”, the primary function of which is to stimulate continual stem cell growth.
Are these stem cells the same as embryonic stem cells?
No. They are your own adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells can transmit genetic diseases that an embryo may carry. These genes could turn on certain cancers. In a young person, this might not initially be a problem but as this person ages the cancer chances will increase. If we used your own stem cells, there is no increased risk of cancer.
Is it better to get stem cells from the adipose tissue and then grow them in a lab to increase their numbers?
There are a number of studies that show taking the stem cells out of the body and growing them in a lab makes the stem cells much less effective. More importantly, there is speculation and evidence that growing these stem cells out of the body may cause mutations to the cells possibly causing tumor lines. When taking the stem cells from the patient’s very own marrow/fat and putting them right back into the body seems to eliminate these problems.
What is the downtime from a stem cell or platelet procedure?
Essentially, there is no downtime from either procedure. In contrary, we encourage the patient to go out and use the extremity. This apparently helps the stem cells do their job better.
Is this procedure covered by insurance?
At this time, insurance companies are not covering the full cost of this therapy. Some will pay a small portion of the Stem Cell/PRP treatment.
How often does the procedure work?
Thousands of stem cell/platelet procedures have been done with results usually equal to or surpassing more typical orthopedic procedures which involve surgery and sometimes substantial downtime.
Can the procedure fail?
Like any other procedure there is no 100% guarantee that the procedure will work. In certain cases, it is possible that you may need additional treatments or your stem cells do not have enough repair potential relative to the severity of your disease.
If the stem cells or platelets do not work can I still have surgery?
Yes, there is nothing about these procedures that would preclude you from having traditional surgery.