Stem Cell Therapy Frequently Asked Questions
What is stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy, or regenerative medicine, is a new and advancing scientific field focused on using your own stem cells to repair and regenerate damaged body tissue.
Stem cells are found in the body and are distinguished by their unique characteristic of self-renewal, and they are also vital in maintaining healthy body tissue. Over time, the body may lose some of these important cells. By using stem cell therapy, we are able to capture a concentrated source of your own stem cells and inject it into the area of pain or damage in order to promote natural healing within the body.
How should I prepare before the procedure?
Please provide a list of your current medications including prescriptions, over the counter drugs, and herbal supplements to our office before your procedure. Avoid steroids or anti-inflammatory medication for approximately three weeks prior to and three weeks after the procedure. Please contact our office if you must take anti-inflammatory medication for any reason.
How are stem cells obtained?
Stem cells are obtained by aspirating bone marrow from the outside part of the pelvis, or the iliac crest. After the sample of cells is withdrawn from the body, they are placed in a high-spinning machine. The machine separates the components of the sample and creates a concentrated source of stem cells. The concentrated source of stem cells is then injected into the body, specifically in the area of pain.
How long will the procedure take?
The procedure can take anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.
Will my body reject the stem cells?
There is little to no chance that you will reject the cells as they are obtained from your own body.
What should I expect after the procedure?
Stem cell therapy is performed on an outpatient basis. Depending on the severity of the injury, and the type of procedure that is performed, recovery may vary. In most cases, patients are able to resume normal daily activities shortly after the procedure. Some soreness may occur. In order to yield long lasting benefits from the procedure, we strongly recommend that you refrain from anti-inflammatory medication and steroids for at least 3 weeks after the procedure.
What are the expected results?
Results will vary depending on the severity of the injury or condition. While some patients report an improvement in their condition in as little as one week, we ask all patients to expect up to 4 weeks to see results.
Who is a good candidate for stem cell therapy?
Any patient with a recent injury or chronic condition involving joint, ligament, muscle, tendon, or cartilage damage.
Is stem cell therapy the same as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy?
No. A platelet-rich plasma (PRP) procedure consists of extracting blood from the patient, using a centrifuge to concentrate the platelets in the blood, and then injecting the concentrated source of platelets in the area of pain in order to promote healing. Stem cell therapy involves the aspiration of stem cells from bone marrow in the iliac crest (pelvis), using a centrifuge to create a concentrated source of stem cells, then injecting the concentrated stem cells into the area pain in order to regenerate damaged tissue.
Both PRP therapy and stem cell therapy are great treatment options for those dealing with degenerating tissue, but stem cell therapy is a more advanced procedure, commonly used for more severe injuries and conditions.
Is stem cell therapy or platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy covered by insurance?
In most cases, insurance does not cover PRP therapy or stem cell therapy procedures. Contact our office if you have any questions.
Do you use embryonic stem cells?
No. We use your own mesenchymal stem cells, which are multipotent stromal cells that can differentiate and assist in rebuilding tissue.
What is regenerative medicine?
Regenerative medicine is a new and advancing scientific field focused on using the body’s own regenerative capabilities to restore function to damaged cells and tissue.