Is Lipogems right for me?
 

Talk to your doctor to find out if Lipogems is right for you; you may be a candidate for Lipogems if:

  • You suffer from an injury or ailment that limits your normal daily functioning or physical activity.
  • You have painful joints with limited range of motion, such as your knee, ankle or shoulder
  • You have a soft tissue defect in your tendons, ligaments, and/or muscles (in order to restore orthopaedic function, these defects may require tissue repair and regeneration, as well as cushioning and support).
  • Treatment options, such as physical therapy, NSAIDS, or steroid injections have not provided you with significant relief.
  • You would like to explore Lipogems as a minimally invasive alternative to a major surgical intervention.
  • Your doctor determines Lipogems may be used in addition to your surgery.

You may not be a candidate for Lipogems if:

  • You currently have a systemic infection.
  • You suffer from an autoimmune disease.
  • You currently are taking blood thinners or anti-coagulation medication.
  • You are being treated for any other malignancy or blood borne disease.
  • You have an allergy to Lidocaine.
  • You are currently breastfeeding or plan to begin breastfeeding in the near future.
  • You have undergone previous abdominal surgery.
  • You have a hematologic condition.

 

What does the cost of procedure include?

Because of recent innovations in technology, Cell Surgical Network is able to provide outpatient stem cell treatment at a fraction of the cost of that seen in many overseas clinics. Our fees covers Stromal Vascular Fraction SVF harvesting, preparation, and deployment which may include the use of advanced interventional radiology and fluoroscopy techniques. Total costs will be determined after a medical evaluation

 

I am interested in “stem cells” for my arthritic knee. Is fat or bone marrow better?

While there is no clear advantage of using fat or bone marrow as the source of stem cells, the risks and pain are less with a liposuction than a bone marrow aspirate from the hip. There are more cells obtained from the fat (millions)- called stromal vascular fraction or SVF- compared to bone marrow (tens of thousands). As we age, there are fewer good bone marrow stem cells, but stem cells in fat does not decrease. And most of us have plenty of that! On the other hand, some feel that the cells in bone marrow are more potent.

 

Are there any large studies with stem cells?

One excellent study followed 1128 pts (1856 joints – mainly knees and hips)  for an average of 17 months after injections with fat derived SVF . No serious side effects, infections or cancer was associated with SVF treatment. There was a gradual improvement over 3-12 months, with at least 75% improvement in 63% of patients and 91% stated their pain was improved at least 50%. Obesity and more severe arthritis were associated with slower healing.

 

Can stem cells injections regrow the cartilage in my knee or shoulder?

One common myth is that stem cells can form new ligaments, cartilage, and tendon. This DOES occur in the lab (in vitro), but not in the patient. MSC’s DO signal the body to heal itself and regenerate healthy tissues. There are small cells sitting on the blood vessels, called pericytes, that when released, activate the regenerative process and assist in the healing process. PRP is also felt to do the same thing. Interestingly, MSC’s when activated, it has been learned that they attach to opiod (pain) receptors in the joint and is felt to be one of the main reasons pain decreases.

 

How long will the benefit last?

Most studies have followups of less than 3 years. In one study of 2500 patients followed for 2 years, 80 % had sustained pain reduction, and would elect to do it again.

 

I have a partial Rotator cuff tear. Is PRP or “stem cells” better?

The use of MSC in the treatment of rotator cuff disease is evolving, but still considered investigational.  Laboratory studies show that adipose derived stem cells (from the fat) does signal the healing of tendons in animal models.  This is an exciting area for patients that have small full-thickness tears or partial tears with pain. A recent comparison of multiple studies shows that PRP improves pain and range of motion for 6-12 months, but there is no long term benefit from PRP injections in regards to healing. There are a number of clinical studies undergoing with stem cells and cuff tears, The use of BMAC (bone marrow) did show a significant improvement in pain for osteoarthritis and rotator cuff tears until 2 years/. Membranes of PRP have shown improved healing in surgery for the repair massive tears of the rotator cuff, but not smaller ones.  We do believe there is a lot of merit in the use of stem cells and very little risk.   We have just started offering this as a treatment option, either in surgery for other conditions, or in our treatment room, under local anesthesia.  The use of mesenchymal stem cells has been shown to be safe when harvested from fat and/or bone marrow.

 

Are “stem cell” injections safe?

In regards to stem cell injections into joints for arthritis, our affiliate group (Cell Surgical Network) has just published paper on its effectiveness and safety of fat cells (SVF) over a 5 year period. .  A copy of that is on the website.  We have recently started offering the option of injecting adipose derived stem cells into the knees at the time of arthroscopic surgery in patients that have mild to moderate osteoarthritis, that are having surgery for other reasons.  We are hopeful that this will slow down the rate of degeneration of the knee and allow some healing to occur.  There is not enough data at this point, to know that it will or not.

Some of the more recent data in articles may be helpful in deciding what path patients wish to to take. (www.stemcellreference.com) is a compilation of all the recent research for those you who want the most up to date studies.

Am J Orthop. 2016 July;45(5):280-288,326- good review article for the orthopedist

J Pain Res 2015;8:269-276- BMAC and rotator cuff tears

Cell Trans 2015 Milachek SVF and OA

Am J Cosmetic Surgery 2017:1-14- safety paper