Regenerative medicine is an exciting and innovative field of study, and one of the most well-known forms of regenerative medicine is stem cell transplantation. Stem cell and bone marrow transplants have been around for many years, and stem cell therapy has been used to successfully treat many different medical conditions, including diabetic neuropathy, arthritis, and even some kinds of cancer. What is the process of stem cell transplantation? That’s a slightly complicated question, because there are different types of stem cell transplantation.
Before any kind of stem cell transplant, tests and examinations must be done to assess general health and make sure the patient is a viable candidate for transplantation. The body may need to be conditioned for the transplant. The stem cells will be harvested and transplanted, and then the patient will go through a recovery period. In some cases, this can involve a lengthy hospital stay.
Autologous transplantation uses stem cells from the patient’s own body, while allogeneic transplantation involves cells harvested from a donor. Often, autologous treatment involves removing stem cells from blood, then returning the stem cells to the body. Harvesting stem cells this way isn’t painful and can be done while the patient is awake. It typically takes about three hours and may be repeated the next day if there weren’t enough stem cells retrieved the first time.
Another source of stem cells is the bone marrow. Harvesting stem cells this way involves removing a bone marrow sample from the hip. This kind of transplant is done with the patient under general anesthesia, and a needle and syringe are used to remove about a liter of bone marrow. It may take several insertions of the needle, into different parts of the hip, to get enough bone marrow. In most cases, bone marrow transplants are allogeneic. Sometimes, though, a patient’s own bone marrow can be used.
Cord blood is also a source stem cell transplantation. Blood from the placenta and umbilical cord of a newborn baby is used, having been donated or, in some cases, banked. It’s possible for parents to bank their baby’s cord blood in case he or she needs this treatment later in life. Stem cells from cord blood are extremely beneficial, because these young cells are potent and very effective at promoting healing.
Are you a candidate for stem cell transplantation? It’s important to discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor before deciding on this kind of therapy. Before deciding whether stem cell treatment is appropriate for you, your healthcare team will assess your general health and medical condition, type of injury or illness, prior history of treatment, and the availability of stem cells, whether from a donor or your own body.
If you think you might benefit from stem cell therapy, contact Oregon Medical Centers. Founded in 1989 as First Choice Chiropractic, Oregon Medical Centers was established in 2018 after adding Medical Providers and becoming an integrated medical facility. Specialists in treating car accident and workplace injuries, we also treat conditions like sciatica, pinched nerves, TMJ, neck and back pain, headaches, joint pain, and much more. We offer chiropractic care, physical therapy, massage, and regenerative medicine, and we specialize in diagnosing and treating chronic pain. Our dedicated medical team provides high-level care and compassion for patients in a collaborative environment where patients get the best possible treatment. What’s more, our insurance department assists in the insurance process, to alleviate stress for patients and allow them to focus on getting better. For more information about the services we offer, or to schedule an appointment, call (503) 390-1552 in Salem, (503) 642-2845 in Aloha, or contact us through our website.