STEM CELL BANKING (BONE MARROW ASPIRATION)
Surgery performed by Dr. Schenden
The systems and tissues of the body are replenished by stem cells contained within. However, as we age, the number and quality of these stem cells diminish. Your young bone marrow stem cells can be stored today in a simple procedure, to be used for future rejuvenation therapy or for treatment of age-related disease.
Currently, there are more than 500 registered clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of bone marrow stem cells to fight various diseases such as heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, in recent scientific studies, it was found that simple transplantation of young bone marrow stem cells to genetically-matched older animals extended their health and lifespan.
Like many of our body’s cells and tissues, as we age our stem cells show signs of wear and tear. This means that your stem cells are not as good at mending your body as they were last year, or the year before that. This process starts slowly in early adulthood and continues through middle age, but accelerates as we get older. For example, stem cells from older people divide more slowly, and they cannot easily replace damaged bone.
The bone marrow is a wellspring of stem cells that replenish the blood, immune system, vasculature, muscle, bone, and connective tissue. Clinically, bone marrow stem cells appear to have the greatest effectiveness at promoting regeneration. In biology, regeneration means the ability to regrow damaged tissue. Tissue may become damaged because of an injury or disease, and most tissues repair themselves to a limited degree. Bone marrow stem cells have been shown to promote the body’s natural healing ability in a safe and efficient way. Your young stem cells may be used to fight disease, and have potential to be used in anti-aging therapies in development.
THE BEST CANDIDATES FOR STEM CELL BANKING
As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree is 25 years ago; the second best time is today. Research and clinical evidence suggest the same is true with stem cells. The younger you are, the more likely you are to have their highest quality cells available. There is a body of evidence indicating that degradation of bone marrow stem cells happens gradually through adulthood and middle age, and then accelerates after middle age. We recommend the procedure for patients under 60, but if you are in exceptionally good health as determined by your physician, and you are aware that your stem cells are less likely to be effective at combating disease as you age, then you may be a candidate.
PLANNING YOUR SURGERY
In the initial consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your health, and your interest in and expectations for stem cell banking. Our doctors make sure your questions are answered and your goals are understood. Detailed instructions on activity before and after surgery will be discussed. Be sure to tell the surgeon if you smoke, or if you take any drugs or medications -- including aspirin or other drugs that affect clotting.
PREPARING FOR YOUR SURGERY
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on diet, medications, activity level, and smoking. Detailed instructions on activity before and after surgery will be discussed. If you smoke, plan to quit at least 4-6 weeks before the scheduled surgery otherwise an increased risk for infection and wound healing will occur.
WHERE YOUR SURGERY WILL BE PERFORMED
Patient preference will be incorporated into this decision. We have the option of outpatient or inpatient surgery. Stem cell banking may be added to many other scheduled procedures.
TYPES OF ANESTHESIA
General Anesthesia or I.V. sedation with local anesthesia (twilight anesthesia) may be individualized based on patient preference and if the stem cell collection is scheduled with another surgery.
Stem cell collection usually takes 15 to 30 minutes. Surgical technique includes aspiration of bone marrow from the pelvic bone. A very small incision enabling access for a specialized syringe is made. The incision is closed meticulously with very fine sutures.
AFTER YOUR SURGERY
An adhesive bandage is placed for 24 hours. Sutures are usually absorbable skin sutures that do not require removal. Normally you may return to school or work the next day but with light activity for 1 week. Pain medications will be prescribed. Wound care will be demonstrated before and after surgery.
RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH STEM CELL BANKING
Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk and it is important that you understand these risks and the possible complications associated with them. In addition, every procedure has limitations. An individual’s choice to undergo a surgical procedure is based on the comparison of the risk to potential benefit. Although the majority of patients do not experience complications, you should discuss them with your plastic surgeon to make sure you understand all possible consequences of stem cell banking.
Call today to set up your consultation. 248.524.0620
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