A stem cell is a cell with the unique ability to develop into specialized cell types in the body. Stem cells give rise to the entire body of the organism, including all the many specialized cell types and organs such as the heart, lungs, skin, sperm, eggs and other tissues. In some adult tissues, such as bone marrow, muscle, and brain, stem cells generate replacements for cells that are lost through normal wear and tear, injury, or disease.
Given their unique regenerative abilities, stem cells offer new potentials for treating diseases. Laboratory studies of stem cells enable scientists to learn about the cells’ essential properties and what makes them different from specialized cell types. Scientists are already using stem cells in the laboratory to screen new drugs and to develop model systems to study normal growth and identify the causes of birth defects.
Research on stem cells continues to advance knowledge about how an organism develops from a single cell and how healthy cells replace damaged cells in adult organisms. Stem cell research is one of the most fascinating areas of contemporary biology.
What is Stem Cell Therapy (Regenerative Medicine)?
Stem cell therapy, also known as regenerative medicine, promotes the reparative response of diseased, dysfunctional or injured tissue using stem cells or their derivatives. It is the next chapter of organ transplantation and uses cells instead of donor organs which are limited in supply and require medication to prevent rejection.
Researchers grow stem cells in a lab. These stem cells are manipulated to specialize into specific types of cells, such as heart muscle cells, blood cells or nerve cells.
The specialized cells can then be implanted into a person. For example, if the person has heart disease, the cells could be injected into the heart muscle. The healthy transplanted heart cells could then contribute to repairing defective heart muscle.
Stem cell harvesting is an outpatient (ambulatory) procedure, meaning that it does not require an overnight hospital say. The term "outpatient" arises from the fact that patients may go home and do not need an overnight hospital bed. The purpose of outpatient surgery is to keep the hospital costs down, as well as saving the patient time that would otherwise be wasted in the hospital.
Recent research has indicated that fat tissue has a greater number of stem cells and is the easiest from which to harvest. Although the abdomen is preferred, stem cells can be aspirated from any area where there are localized fat deposits. This 20-30 minute procedure is a mini-liposuction, performed under local anesthesia with special equipment to prevent damage to the stem cells and is done in a closed system to maintain sterility. About 4 tablespoons of fat are extracted and then sent to our in-house lab.
Once extracted, the collected fat is sent to the lab and put through a centrifuge to spin and separate the fat contents according to density. It is during this process that we can finally receive the pure stem cells derived from the fat content in your body.
Once the stem cells have been separated, they are ready for deployment (injection) to the affected area. The entire process takes 3 hours from the time you walk in to the time you walk out.
What Is Recovery Like?
In the early weeks of regenerative e healing, your body's natural inflammatory process will use cytokines, leukocytes, proteins and inflammation to create a "scaffold" for the cells to bind to. The cells are just starting to form and divide, so you want to be very cautious and avoid overloading, shearing, or compression on the joint that was injected. Give the new stem cells time to implant themselves in the healing tissues.
Avoid repetitive loaded exercise, like start steppers, running or weight lifting. yoga, stretching, mat Pilates, tai chi and easy walking are perfect as they have minimal compressive loading or pounding to joints.
All in all, most patients can return to work within 48 hrs . For any discomfort or pain Tylenol is recommended.
How Soon Will I See Results?
Each patient is unique and the results vary depending on your bodies reaction. Some patients have been able to get right back to work after suffering from excruciating pains, others have seen improvements after a few months, and others have seen gradual improvements as time passes. There is no guarantee of what results will be seen or how quickly they may be observed, we can however, tell you that the vast majority of our patients have seen improvements in their conditions.