Frequently Asked Stem Cell Questions
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are the basic building blocks of life, the basic cells from which our bodies are made. They are formed at conception and specialized to become all the different tissues of the body: muscle, nerve, organs, bone, blood and so on. In general terms, stem cells are progenitor cells that lead the creation of new cells. They are regenerative in their function; they are regenerative cells.
When do we use the body's stem cells?
We tap into our body's stem cell reserve to repair and replace injured or diseased tissue. Unfortunately, our reserve is limited and as it becomes depleted, the regenerative power of our body decreases and we succumb to diseases, disorders and the ravages and ramifications of aging.
What are the sources of stem cells from one's own body?
There are three sources of stem cells from a patient body that can be used clinically; these are bone marrow, peripheral blood and fat (adipose tissue).
Which is the best source to harvest from and why?
The best source to harvest stem cells from one's body is the 'FAT' also known as Adipose Tissue. It is rich in mesenchymal stem cells and 100x more stem cells can be harvested from fat as compared to bone marrow for example.
What is an Adipose Stem Cell Transplant?
It is the harvesting of dormant stem cells from 100-200cc of a patient's fat through a mini-liposuction. The harvested dormant stem cells are isolated from the fat and incubated with the patient's growth factors, then comfortably infused back into the patient intravenously (IV). The entire procedure takes about 4-5 hours and is conducted on an out-patient basis under local anesthesia. It takes about an hour to harvest the cells, 3 hours to incubate and stimulate them properly with a patented laser and then infuse them back into the patient. There is no waiting or culturing done with the adipose stem cells as we do not wish to change or manipulate the stem cells, but keep them in their natural state until they are reintroduced into the body. This is in direct contrast to bone marrow extraction, or to other methods that are used by foreign entities. Since we harvest from the most abundant source of stem cells, located within the patient's own fat cells, we avoid the need to manipulate and multiply these cells, thus helping to ensure their survival.
How do stem cells work?
Essentially, stem cells are progenitor cells which are capable of regeneration and differentiation morphing into a wide range of specialized cell types. Once administered, stem cells follow inflammatory signals from damaged tissues and have multiple ways of repairing these damaged areas.
What indications can Adipose Stem Cell Transplant be most beneficial?
We arrange for Adipose Stem Cell Transplants for a wide variety of conditions for which traditional treatment offers less than optimal options. Those conditions include Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease, Diabetes Type II, Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Autoimmune Diseases, COPD , Pulmonary Fibrosis, Chronic Bronchitis, Stroke, and HIV. Stem Cell Transplants have innumerable uses for Anti-Aging and Aesthetics .
How long will it take to see results?
Each condition and patient is unique, and there is no guarantee of what results will be achieved or how quickly they may be observed. Most patients report the results become apparent over 1-3 months, but it can take as long as 6-9 months.
Are there any known side effects to the procedure?
The side effects of the procedure are minimal and may include minor swelling, bruising and redness at the procedure site. Less than 10% of patients develop a minor fever, headache, or nausea, however these side effects typically last no longer than 24 hours and are experienced mostly by patients with sensitivity to mild anesthesia. No long-term negative side effects have been reported.
Are there any moral or religious issues with regards to Adipose Stem Cell Transplant?
According to several religious denominations, adult stem cells are not encumbered by any ethical or moral dilemmas. Those ethical issues which apply to fetal and embryonic stem cells do not apply to adult stem cells. Both the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Church have issued papers which actually encourage research and the use of adult stem cells in the treatment of human disease, as an ethically acceptable alternative to the use of the ethically challenged fetal and embryonic stem cells.
Is this procedure FDA approved?
No. Our procedure is in compliance with CFR21 Part 1271 (1271.15.b). Stem cell procedures are not new to the United States. Bone marrow transplants (stem cell transplants) used to treat patients with leukemia receives a similar treatment; bone marrow transplants also, are not approved by the FDA but listed as an exception as stated in CFR 1271.15.b.
Will health insurance cover the cost?
U.S. health insurance does not cover the cost of this procedure. However, many European and government funded health insurance provides coverage for stem cell procedures.
How long does it take to schedule an appointment?
Your StemGenex 'Patient Advocate' will assist you with every step to ensure the appointment process is expedited. Once we have received a detailed medical history it will then take 2 to 3 days for the physician to review the records and get back to the patient to go over treatment options. Then, the patient is scheduled for the earliest available appointment. The process of scheduling appointments takes 1 to 3 weeks, from the time of the initial contact to the date of the first appointment. The first step is to complete a Medical History Form.