Is Stem Cell Therapy Right for You? Questions to Consider…
Dr. Skaliy is among a select group of physicians around the country to offer Stem Cell Therapy to relieve pain and promote healing. This non-invasive, non-surgical treatment uses your own body’s repair mechanisms and growth factors to promote healing. Stem Cell Therapy has proven to be up to 90 percent effective in treating chronic pain; and, because we use the patient’s own Stem Cells, you can be assured the procedure is safe, ethical and effective.
Here are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions related to Stem Cells.
How can Stem Cell treatment help me?
Stem Cell injections are effective in treating pain in the back and in the joints. If you are hurting and would like to consider options other than surgery, Stem Cell treatment could be right for you.
How long will it take to feel relief?
Most patients will have gradual relief, including significant pain relief after two to four months that will continue to improve for up to six months after the Stem Cell procedure.
Is Stem Cell treatment just about pain relief?
Absolutely not! While pain relief is a huge benefit of Stem Cell Therapy, this treatment has been found to successfully treat about 65 different medical conditions. It can even be used to treat hair loss and wrinkles. This is because Stem Cells have the unique ability to divide and renew themselves by changing into specific types of cells, which can be used to repair or replace worn out or damaged tissue. Researchers began working with Stem Cells to determine how and when they could be used to repair or replace damaged cells more than 30 years ago. Then, back in 2006, researchers experienced another breakthrough when they discovered how to “reprogram” adult Stem Cells to replicate and change similar to embryonic Stem Cells, but without the potential side-effects or ethical issues.
What is the success rate for Stem Cell injections?
Up to 90 percent of patients report significant benefits from Stem Cell Therapy.
Since Stem Cells can become anything, what if my Stem Cells become something else?
This concern is one of the key reasons we only use adult Stem Cells in our treatment process. Embryonic Stem Cells grow quickly, and researchers must employ careful, specialized cultivation processes to prevent uncontrolled growth. Because adult Stem Cells are already “grown,” the tendency to become an entirely different type of cell after being injected into a specific area are greatly diminished. Adult Stem Cells are much more likely to grow into a healthy cell to replace a damaged cell found at the injection site.
Do Adult Stem Cells cause cancer?
No. After extensive research and more than a decade of successful treatment of at least 65 different medical maladies, there is no indication that adult Stem Cells cause cancer. There have been no studies indicating cancer risks using adult Stem Cells. In fact, recently published studies into the question have effectively put these fears to rest.
How can we know Adult Stem Cells don’t cause cancer?
There’s been a lot in the press about Stem Cell Therapy. Unfortunately, sometimes the media doesn’t differentiate well enough between embryonic (fetal) Stem Cells and somatic (adult) Stem Cells. This can cause a lot of confusion about this issue.
Here’s the basic difference: embryonic Stem Cells are tasked with developing into each element of a fully-formed human, so they may sometimes try to fulfill this process when being used to treat a disease. This can result in a benign mash-up of tissue called a “teratoma.” While classified as a tumor, teratomas are benign (non-cancerous). Because Adult Stem Cells have been “programmed” to develop into specific types of tissues, there is no risk of this result.
Where are Stem Cells commonly injected?
Stem Cells are most commonly used to relieve pain in larger joints such as hips, knees and shoulders, however, smaller joints such as ankles and hands can be injected as well.
Where do Stem Cells come from?
Stem Cells can be harvested from adipose (fat) tissue and bone marrow. We harvest the bone marrow cells from the hip and the adipose Stem Cells generally from the abdomen or buttock area. This is a minimally-invasive, outpatient procedure. Because there are typically more Stem Cells in fat tissue, that is generally our preferred option.
How are Stem Cells harvested?
Our medical staff applies anesthetic to the harvest area. Once the area is numb, the doctor uses a syringe to gently aspirate a small amount of Stem Cell rich fat tissue. During the same visit, the collected cells are placed in a specially-designed medical centrifuge device used to isolate and concentrate the cells for injection into the desired area.
Am I a good candidate for Stem Cell treatment?
Stem Cell injections are advised for Osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, shoulder, ankle and other joints. Most patients are good candidates for Stem Cell Therapy, however there are very few medical issues that may not allow a Stem Cell procedure to be done.
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Does Stem Cell treatment hurt?
Stem Cell treatment is a noninvasive, nonsurgical treatment option to provide long lasting relief from chronic pain. A single injection, guided by x-rays, can be your long-term solution to joint pain. Most patients attest that Stem Cell Therapy does not hurt nearly as much as the pain being treated.
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure is completed on the same visit and generally takes one to two hours.
What are the possible side-effects of Stem Cell treatment?
Because Stem Cells are harvested from the patient, there are no side-effects like you might get from pharmaceuticals.
Will my insurance cover Stem Cell Therapy?
There are several costs associated with Stem Cell Therapy. Some are generally covered by insurance, while some may not be. Stem Cell treatment begins with an exploratory consultation, and a series of diagnostic evaluations, including a physical examination and testing using imagery including x-rays or an MRI, that must be undertaken before Stem Cell Therapy can be considered. Most insurance policies cover these aspects of the procedure.
Why is this exploratory step important?
We conduct this testing to determine the root cause of your pain. Every case varies, and your pain may be caused by something entirely unrelated to a condition treated by Stem Cell Therapy. If that ends up being the case, the most important question becomes: “What should be done about what’s going on with me?” We conduct these tests both to make a positive diagnosis and rule out other conditions.
What if my treatment is not covered?
There are some aspects of Stem Cell Therapy not covered by many insurance policies, which means you may be responsible for certain costs at the time of treatment. Because our goal is to help everyone we can, we offer third-party financing options to help patients pay for any aspects of the treatment not covered by insurance. Just remember, most chronic pain is progressive, so the longer you wait, the worse it will become. Please don’t let assuming an answer to the “insurance question” delay your pain relief.
You may have some questions not covered in this FAQ. We would love to help you find answers to those questions. Click here to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Skaliy, so he can answer any additional questions you may have about the “Medical Miracle” known as Stem Cell Therapy.