Harvesting & Collecting Stem Cells from Fat
One of the most frequently utilized sites for adipose tissue collection is the “love handles.” Although the term adipose tissue is used in scientific publications, the true source of stem cells is the stromal vascular fraction (SVF), which is the loose connective tissue part of the adipose / fat tissue. Patients undergo a minimally invasive mini-liposuction procedure with specially designed equipment where the SVF is collected from fat and drawn out through a cannula and into a closed system. This procedure is performed by an experienced plastic surgeon.
The harvesting procedure generally takes less than 30 minutes, and is performed under local anesthesia with light sedation under the care of an anesthesiologist. Less than 100 cc. of fat/SVF is required, and postoperative discomfort is minimal. This collected material is then transported to our on-site laboratory for processing. Final stem cell counts can vary from patient to patient, but average counts are over 100 million stem cells. After the procedure, patients are observed in the postoperative recovery area for an additional 1 to 2 hours.
These procedures are performed at the Regency Surgery Center, a state-of-the-art facility utilizing the most sophisticated monitoring equipment to provide the highest degree of safety.
The Regency Surgery Center is certified by the Joint Commission For Accreditation Of Ambulatory Surgery Centers, a subsidiary of the prestigious Joint Commission For Accreditation Of Hospitals.
Laboratory Preparation of The Harvested Stem Cells
Our laboratory staff will isolate the adult stem cells (ASCs) and other progenitor cells in a sterile environment ensuring that no contamination occurs. The adipose tissue is put through a strict laboratory protocol within a sterile closed system. Use of sterile technique means that the cells are not exposed to air particles or contaminants. Additionally, no foreign substances or medication are added to the stem cells. The stem cells are then purified and assessed for quality and quantity before being reintroduced back into the patient.
Stem Cell Deployment
Since we harvest mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue which contains the most abundant source of stem cells, we do not change or manipulate the cells in any manner. They are kept in their natural state until reintroduced into the body. The concentrated stem cell suspension is administered back to the patient through one or more modes of delivery. All of these methods are considered minimally invasive, and do not require surgery of any kind. They are administered by a licensed physician. These deployment methods include the following:
Stem cells are injected directly into the affected joint, disk, tendon, or ligament.
Stem cells are administered via IV fluid drip for systemic administration.
Our doctors will monitor your post-treatment progress on a regular basis. These follow-up visits also help us to evaluate the effectiveness of our treatment protocols. Thereafter, our staff will be contacting you one month, three months, six months, and one year after treatment for follow-up.
Stem Cell Cryopreservation Banking
Many of the medical conditions we treat, such as neurodegenerative disorders, autoimmune conditions, and multilevel diffuse joint arthritis, often require repeat deployments. Utilizing one’s own banked autologous cells allows this to be done in a convenient and cost effective manner. Cryopreservation and banking of adipose-derived stem cells is now possible, and can be performed at the same time as your SVF deployment procedures. Cells On IceTM is a company that handles this process in collaboration with their technology partner American Cryo-System. Autologous lipoaspirate can be frozen as fat or as SVF for repeated deployments. Additionally, our hope is that in the near future, pending regulatory approval, the stromal vascular fraction can be extended into nearly unlimited quantities of autologous stem cells. In essence, this would provide patients with their own personal stem cell line that could be used as needed for everything from treating stroke, heart attacks, serious accidents, or even possibly cancer therapy protocols developed in their lifetime.
The cost of this cryo-banking likens it to “bio insurance” is $2,500.00 to process, and then $240.00 per year to maintain this bank of stem cells. Having your own personal stem cells available for use at any time, is a valuable medical asset.