Are you considering having stem cell therapy? If so, you’re probably wondering how long does it takes for stem cell therapy to work.
In this article, we will go over what stem cell therapy is, how the various procedures work, and what to expect post stem cell treatment. It’s important to know that extremely few stem cell procedures are FDA approved, so you will need to do your due diligence.
Keep reading to get informed on this topic.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a type of procedure that employs the use of stem cells (“master” cells in the body) to treat minor and moderate conditions. However, it can also be used for preventative and prophylactic measures.
Through the advances in technology, stem cell therapy can often be a less invasive alternative to surgery.
To understand stem cell therapy in more depth, we have to take a look at what stem cells are, stem cell treatment procedures, and post-procedure considerations.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are cells within the body that have the ability to multiply and to differentiate into specialized cells. Stem cells often do this throughout your early life and growth cycles.
In addition, they serve as repair points within the tissues, dividing to help replenish and rejuvenate other cells. When a stem cell divides, each non-primary cell has the ability to remain that what it is, or become another specialized cell, such as a brain cell, blood cell, or muscle cell, for example.
They are found all over the body, but are found in high concentrations within your bone marrow and fat tissue. Through a simple painless procedure, a minuscule amount of bone marrow can be aspirated from the patient and separated by centrifuge. Alternatively, liposuction can be used to source stem cells from your fat (adipose) tissue.
Stem cells can be sourced one of two ways:
- From the patient – Known as “autologous” (self-derived) stem cells
- From another person – Known as “allogeneic” (donor-derived) stem cells
To administer stem cells to a patient, they can be injected into a site of injury. Alternatively, they can be administered to the patient intravenously (i.e., by IV infusion).
Either way, the goal of the stem cell treatment is to amplify the patient’s natural ability to repair itself by reducing inflammation, promoting healing, and preventing scar formation.
In addition to improving painful conditions like arthritis, stem cells can be used in the treatment of bone, tendon, cartilage, and ligament problems. They can also be used in the treatment of some chronic conditions.
What’s the Procedure Like?
The procedure, as mentioned earlier, begins with collecting adult stem cells from your body or a donor’s body. You can select to have fat-derived stem cells collected from your lower stomach or bone marrow cells removed from the iliac crest of your hip bone. In some cases, these cells may even be administered together.
A third way to collect stem cells is through the peripheral vein. In this case, your blood may be used to make platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
Regardless of the method of sourcing stem cells, the procedure will involve either an injection into an affected area or IV infusion of the cells. In the case of an injection based approach, the cells may be administered into the patient’s back, soft tissue, hips, shoulders, knees, etc. This is done in a controlled manner, commonly through the use of ultrasound guidance or fluoroscopic live x-ray.
Using the methods above, the cells are administered under sterile conditions. The entire stem cell therapy procedure can take anywhere from half an hour to four hours, depending on your medical condition.
In most cases, you will be able to walk out of the office on your own and return to daily activities within a couple of days. However, you will still have some pain, which will relieve itself within two to twelve weeks.
And over a time frame of six to twelve months, you will likely experience gradual improvements in your health.
Post Stem Cell Therapy
As mentioned above, a patient may experience tenderness and pain where the liposuction or bone marrow collection is performed. There might be minuscule fluid drainage around the site within the first twelve hours.
In the first week after treatment, you can perform light activities to help promote recovery and motion. With the exception of jobs that involve intense physical labor (like construction), you can usually return to work immediately.
In most cases, you will not feel an improvement for about three weeks, and in some cases six to eight weeks. However, once improvement does begin, you may observe changes in your body for six months or more.
In some cases, your medical provider may want to have you return to receive a follow-up “booster” treatment around 4 weeks. If you had an injection based stem cell treatment, this might consist of a bone marrow concentrate, placental exosomes, PRP, or in some cases, Alpha 2 Macroglobulin.
Done correctly, this “booster” injection will improve your recovery and complement the healing process.
Strenuous exercise and impact sports should be avoided for at least a month, depending on the treatment protocol. After the 4 to 6 six weeks, you will usually be free to return to regular activities. After all, this minimally invasive procedure shouldn’t limit you for too long.
How Long It Takes for Stem Cell Therapy to Work
Congratulations, you now know what stem cell therapy is, what stem cells are, how stem cell procedures work, and what to expect after receiving one. You also know the answer to the question, “How long does it take for stem cell therapy to work?”
To summarize, it is usually at least one month until you start to notice the gradual effects of stem cell therapy and you may observe changes in your medical condition for 6 months or longer.
Stem Cell Treatment
Are you are seeking a stem cell treatment? As the world’s largest publisher of stem cell industry news, we understandably cannot provide clinical treatments or advice.
For this reason, please contact GIOSTAR, a global stem cell company that has treated a large number of patients, with your medical questions. You can reach them at this link to schedule a consultation or ask them your questions.
If you found this blog valuable, subscribe to BioInformant’s stem cell industry updates.