Regenerative therapies, including Platelet Rich Plasma therapy, are a way to promote your body’s natural healing abilities – without harmful chemicals or invasive surgery. At Narberth Family Medicine, we are proud to announce an addition to our list of services and regenerative treatments: stem cell therapy.
About Stem Cells
Stem cells are a special type of cell which your body uses to repair tissue throughout your body. These cells are undifferentiated, which means they can turn into any specialized cell your body needs.
Stem cells can be found in every tissue in every human body, but are especially concentrated in bone marrow, blood, and adipose(fatty) cells. Stems cells are what make regenerative therapies like PRP therapy so effective; by harvesting cells from fatty tissue in this new treatment, we can send 10,000x more stem cells into your body than PRP therapy!
You may have heard about stem cells in the news over the past few years, especially when it comes to medical testing or cloning. These type of cells come from embryos and have a purpose in the scientific community. But these are not the type of stem cells used in our therapy.
For our treatment, we harvest stem cells that are naturally produced in your own body. That way, they are a perfect match for your body and immune system. Once separated, activated, and reintroduced into your body, these stem cells provide targeted relief to damaged or diseased areas, promoting healing and decreasing chronic pain or illness.
Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy
Over the last few decades, research into using stem cells has produced stunning results. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School, UPenn’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and institutions around the world have been looking into how stem cells can prevent or reverse the effects of chronic diseases. That’s because stem cells are designed by nature to stimulate tissue repair, increase blood flow by creating new blood vessels, and decrease inflammation.
Here are some ways our stem cell therapy treatment can help your body heal:
Chronic pain and debilitating diseases
There is still much research being done to determine to what extent stem cells can reverse the effects of chronic illnesses and diseases, but the initial results are promising. This includes heart failure and heart disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, dementia, and more.
In some of our own patients, we’ve seen wounds heal, chronic pains subside, and overall improvement of health in every patient.
Pain and stiffness in your elbow, shoulder, knee, and hip joints are the result of years of wear and tear on the tissue. Instead of invasive orthopedic surgery or a complete joint replacement, consider stem cell therapy. By injecting activated stem cells into the joint, we can encourage tissue regeneration to the point where you don’t need a joint replacement anymore. Plus, there is no recovery time and the pain can be reduced or even disappear just a few days after this simple outpatient procedure.
About Our Stem Cell Treatment
Our stem cell treatments are outpatient, occurring right here in our office. It will take a few hours, with results noticeable within 4-8 weeks.
- Harvest Stem Cells. The first step is our procedure is to procure stem cells from your own body. We do this through lipo-aspirating, harvesting 60-120 cc of cells from the fatty tissue in your abdomen, waist, or buttocks. This is a rich source of stem cells, providing a greater yield than from the blood stream and is less painful than harvesting from your bone marrow.
- Separate Stem Cells. Once we have your fatty tissue, we must process it to single out the valuable stem cells. We do this in our on-site lab using a centrifuge and some natural enzymes. What’s left at the end of this step is ~.5 mL of pure, dormant stem cells, which contains up to 50 million stem cells.
- Activate Stem Cells. The next step is to activate these stem cells. We use a photo activation system – AdiLight-1 – to activate stem cells and prepare them to start the healing process within your body.
- Administer Stem Cells. Once the stem cells are separated and activated, we must return them to your body to begin repairing your tissue. This is done in one of two ways: The most common method is through an IV directly into your blood stream. That way, your body can direct the activated stem cells to where they are needed the most, which is ideal for systemic or chronic issues and diseases. The second method of administering stem cells is an injection into the injured body part. This works best for chronic joint pains and orthopedic issues, restoring movement, healing tears and injuries, and reducing inflammation in the joint.
Frequently Asked Questions About Stem Cell Regenerative Therapy
Have some questions about stem cell therapy? Read below to find answers.
Is it Safe?
Yes! Instead of placing harmful medicines or chemicals into your body, stem cell therapy simply returns a concentrated amount of your own stem cells back into your system.
The risk associated with stem cell therapy is not unlike any other outpatient treatment, including local anesthetics, natural additives, and intravenous treatments. We take every precaution to maintain a clean and sterile environment for all our treatments, including stem cell therapy.
That being said, the cutting edge stem cell therapy is still considered experimental. Stem cells are currently being studied in many arenas, and the prospect for health improvement using stem cells is great, but many results at this point have only been studying on very few patients. We perform stem cell therapy for the benefit of our patients, and are not involved in any clinical trials.
How long does it take?
We recommend our patients block out 4-5 hours of their day for the treatment. The first step is taking a sample of adipose tissue, which is done under local anesthesia and takes about 30 minutes. The longest part of the procedure is separating and activating the cells, which is done in our on-site lab and can take 1-2 hours, during which time we give you an IV containing an infusion of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Administering the activated stem cells via IV or direct injection takes just another few minutes. Activity after the procedure should be mild to allow the body to recover, but there are no specific limitations.
When should I see results?
Since stem cell therapy is promoting healing at the cellular level, it takes some time for that to translate into results you can see or feel. Most patients dealing with chronic illness or pain report noticeable improvements within 4-8 weeks. After your treatment, we will schedule a follow-up appointment for you to discuss your results with Dr. Lipton and to schedule any further appointments.
Is Dr. Lipton certified to perform this procedure?
Yes. Over the past few years, Dr. Lipton has done extensive research into the benefits of stem cell therapy and how he could use it to help his patients in their healing journey.
Is this treatment covered by insurance?
Unfortunately, most insurance companies do not yet offer coverage for stem cell treatments. For more information on costs and payment plans, contact our office.
Where can I learn more about stem cell therapy treatments?
- Mayo Clinic on Stem Cell Therapy
- National Institutes of Health Stem Cell Research Programs
- “Stem cell therapy for human neurodegenerative disorders” (Nature Medicine, Volume 10 July, 2004)
- “Stem-cell therapy for cardiac disease” (Nature, Vol 451 February 2008)