December 2014

Adult Stem Cells: A Revolutionary Approach to Orthopedic & Cosmetic Procedures

In January of this year, NFL star running back Chris Johnson underwent surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee. His surgeon, orthopedic specialist James Andrews, recommended that Johnson try a new approach to orthopedic treatment - an approach revolutionary for its use of stem cells. Andrews harvested thousands of stem cells from Johnson’s pelvic bone marrow and then injected these cells into Andrews’ injured knee.

By the time training camp opened in July, Johnson was ready to rejoin his team. Johnson is by no means alone in seeking this new treatment – indeed, hundreds of NFL players have undergone stem cell orthopedic procedures in recent years, in an effort to speed up recovery time and get back on the field as quickly as possible.[1]

If the phrase “stem cell research” sounds taboo, keep in mind that the controversy in this phrase is associated primarily with the harvesting of embryonic stem cells from human embryos. The stem cells used in the orthopedic procedures mentioned above are actually taken from the adult patients undergoing these procedures. Of course, such procedures are by no means limited to professional athletes. American company Biologic Therapies, Inc. recently published a report detailing the treatment of a chronically injured Achilles tendon. In this case, a 56-year-old woman’s knee was injected with a treatment of stem cells. After only six weeks, her knee was improved to the point where she was able to resume her favorite sport, tennis, which she had not been able to play for ten years prior to this treatment.[2] As doctors and researchers continue to explore the potential of stem cells in orthopedics, there is another field in which stem cell use has already been proved effective: plastic surgery. From face lifts to breast enlargements, the use of stem cells has augmented the positive results of these cosmetic procedures.

While traditional cosmetic procedures are invasive and can require lengthy recovery times, a new method is minimally invasive and involves a shorter recovery: fat transfer. In fat transfer, doctors use fat from the patient’s own body to enhance selected areas (breasts, buttocks, etc.). Instead of using implants, doctors are able to achieve fantastic results using the patient’s own tissue. In recent years, doctors have further improved the fat transfer method by adding additional stem cells into the transferred fat. The regenerative properties of the transferred stem cells heighten the effects of the fat transfer, as stem cells found in fat can at once improve healing and lead to the growth of new blood vessels in the tissue.[3]      

There are some limitations to these stem cell procedures in the West. Culturing adult stem cells outside of the patient’s body is not currently available in the U.S., a fact that limits the number of stem cells that can be introduced into the patient. This and other factors lead many patients `s. As a medical tourist in Prague, you have the opportunity to choose a treatment suited to your needs and expectations, and our staff at Medical Travel Czech Republic offers you a variety of excellent options. Our experienced doctors offer a range of stem cell enhanced fat transfer procedures suited to your individual needs. We are always ready to discuss your options, so feel free to get in touch with us to learn more about the exciting and innovative procedures we offer!