Stem cell therapy is a revolutionary regenerative medicine treatment that is taking the medical community by storm. It’s applicable to a wide array of health conditions, and it can help patients get better from conditions that traditional medications may not be able to treat adequately.
Let’s take a look at 10 important questions that patients should ask their stem cell therapy providers before beginning treatment:
What Are Stem Cells?
Patients should ask stem cell therapy providers every question they can think of – including the most basic ones like what stem cells are. If the provider doesn’t answer this question in a way that you can understand, it may be best to look for another provider.
How Do You Get the Stem Cells?
Stem cells can be collected in different ways, and patients should know where the stem cell therapy provider gets their stem cells from. Autologous stem cells come from the patient who will be using them for treatment. The cells can be withdrawn through many parts of the body, including fat (adipose) tissue – which has an abundance of stem cells.
How Are the Cells Harvested?
Stem cells can be harvested in many different ways, especially from fat and bone marrow. It depends on what kinds of stem cells are needed. For example, in order to extract blood stem cells, they will be taken from the bone marrow.
Are the Cells Manipulated?
Stem cells can be manipulated and changed before they are used for therapy, but this is not ethical. Patients should inquire whether the stem cell therapy provider alters the stem cells they provide in any way before treatments are done, or if the stem cells stay in the same condition as they are when collected from the patient. Ethical stem cell centers only separate and concentrate stem cells from the patient for use in their own body.
What Types of Conditions Can Stem Cell Therapy Help With?
Patients should discuss which conditions are treatable using stem cells and whether their condition is included. Stem cell therapy offers endless possibilities in how they can be used, and scientists are discovering new stem cell benefits and capabilities every day.
How Much Experience Do You Have?
Everyone wants assurance that the treatment, products, and care they are receiving is trustworthy and reliable. Patients should ask stem cell therapy providers about their experience and how long they have been doing this service.
Which Laboratory Do You Work With?
Stem cells are not solely handled by the doctor’s office – the doctor’s practice usually uses an outside laboratory to process the stem cells before they are ready for treatment. Patients should inquire about which laboratory the doctor works with and what kind of experience and reputation they have.
What Kinds of Results Should I Expect?
The whole point of getting stem cell therapy is to get positive results. Stem cell therapy providers should be able to explain what kind of results patients should expect so they can set realistic expectations, and understand the full benefits and details of the treatment, prior to getting it done.
Do Patients Often Need Multiple Treatments?
Patients should ask their stem cell therapy providers if multiple treatments are common, and whether they may need more than one treatment for their specific condition.
What Is the Cost?
Stem cell therapy treatments are not always covered by insurance companies. If a patient’s insurance doesn’t cover the treatments, the patient will have to pay out of pocket.
Stem cell therapy providers should explain the cost that patients will incur and whether there are payment plan options available.
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