If you’re experiencing health or medical complications, stem cell therapy may be one of the options you are considering.
Stem cell procedures can be used to address a variety of health issues. The question is, how do you know that stem cell therapy will work for you? And how can you be sure that the provider you’ve chosen is the best one for your case?
Here’s a rundown on seven questions to ask before you get stem cell therapy.
Let’s get started!
1. How Experienced Are You with Stem Cell Procedures?
One of the most important questions you can ask before getting stem cell therapy is how many procedures your prospective provider has completed.
Why? Because the more procedures they have completed, the better your outcome may be, and the less likely you are to suffer complications.
When it comes to surgical procedures, surgeons usually deem themselves experts in certain procedures once they’ve performed these procedures at least 200 procedures.
In addition, some clinics focus on the total count of procedures that they’ve completed.
In addition to contacting a provider’s office by phone, consider reaching out to them on social media, like on Instagram, for a quick response. For example, you can send Instagram messages from your Mac by following these steps.
2. What Is Your Specialty?
The specialty of the physician you choose for any major medical procedure matters. And stem cell therapy is no exception.
Specifically, consider a physician who specializes in interventional pain medicine, sport medicine, or physical medicine. These physicians have undergone training to provide injection-based joint care.
The provider you choose should have also received training on guided injections, which include fluoroscopy and ultrasound. This will help to make sure that cells are injected exactly where they are needed.
3. What Is Your Technique for Harvesting Stem Cells?
The answer to this question is important, as stem cell extraction techniques differ based on the stem cell source.
For instance, harvesting stem cells from bone marrow will require a procedure known as a bone marrow aspiration.
This procedure requires extensive image guidance and experience. Otherwise, your physician could end up aspirating blood with no stem cells, rather than bone marrow containing stem cells.
In addition, if your physician harvests stem cells from just one site, there’s a chance that they won’t extract enough stem cells.
4. How Will They Make Sure That Stem Cells Are Placed Correctly?
It’s paramount that the physician you choose knows how to inject your stem cells accurately into your body’s degenerated or damaged area.
If your physician is off even a little, this can cause you to experience joint dysfunction and incessant pain. So, be sure to ask your potential physician how they’ll keep this from happening.
Your doctor may choose one of three methods for placing stem cells: the blind injection approach, marksman technique, and shotgun approach.
Blind injection appears to be the most risky, although the majority of clinics use this approach.
Meanwhile, the marksman technique involves using the combination of image guidance and advanced training. Also, the shotgun approach involves placing cells near the injury site using image guidance.
5. How Do You Know Who Is a Good Candidate for Stem Cell Therapy?
Not all patients are good candidates for all stem cell procedures. Therefore, it’s crucial that your prospective physician is honest with you about whether stem cell therapy would be appropriate for you and your condition.
Ask the doctor what they expect your treatment outcome to be. Also, ask them about the basis for their evaluation.
6. Which Medicines Destroy Stem Cells?
Some commonly taken medicines are actually harmful to stem cells’ health. These medicines include local anesthetics, such as marcaine/bupivacaine and lidocaine.
In light of this, make sure that the physician you choose doesn’t use these anesthetics to numb you during your therapy.
Also, ask if your physician knows that steroid injections can kill healthy cells and cartilage in your joints if injected in large doses. They should also be aware that no more than between six and 12 weeks should separate steroid and stem cell injections.
Furthermore, ask the doctor which prescription medicines negatively impact stem cells. And if you’re taking any of them, ask the doctor when you need to quit taking them and when to resume them following your procedure.
If you take these particular medications during stem cell therapy, your chances of having a successful procedure outcome will decrease.
7. Which Kinds of Stem Cells Will You Use?
Note that not every stem cell is the same. So, ask your prospective physician where they extract stem cells. Also, what types of cells do they use?
As a general rule of thumb, the mesenchymal cells found in bone marrow are especially useful for completing orthopedic repairs. These include repairs to your tendon tissue and cartilage, for example.
Before You Get Stem Cell Therapy
As the world’s largest publisher of stem cell industry news, we are committed to being a trustworthy source of news flow for the industry. Within the site, you can learn about the cost of a stem cell procedure, types of stem cells, and regulatory oversight of stem cell treatments.
In addition, you can discover how stem cells are showing promise for the treatment of COVID-19 related complications, including respiratory or immune complications.
Explore the blog to learn more about the use of stem cells and other living therapies today in 2020.