What is Interstitial Cystitis?
Interstitial cystitis, also known as bladder pain syndrome, is a poorly understood problem that causes pain in the urinary bladder area. Typically, the pain increases as the bladder fills and is helped by bladder emptying. The exact cause is unknown, but studies suggest that the protective layer of the bladder is thinned in interstitial cystitis patients. Increased sensitivity to pain also occurs in many patients over time.
What are the current treatments for interstitial cystitis?
Initial treatment begins with an evaluation of causes for discomfort and physical therapy to help strengthen pelvic muscles. Oral medications — like amitriptyline or pentosan — are typically used as the second step and are effective in many mild to moderate cases. The oral medications do have some side effects but are generally well tolerated. For those not controlled with oral medications, periodic treatments with medication directly into the bladder can be effective. In severe cases, urinary diversion with a urostomy placement is implemented.
How are stem cells used for interstitial cystitis?
Innovations Medical uses stem cells taken from your own fat. We numb a small area, typically around your waist, and use a syringe to suction about two tablespoons of fat. We then process the fat to remove the stem cells. The stem cells are returned to the patient using an IV. Often cells are also placed into the bladder using a catheter. When this occurs, injections are administered into the floor of the bladder around the muscles controlling urination.
Results of Using Stem Cells for Interstitial Cystitis
Stem cells have the potential to help many patients with interstitial cystitis. Stem cells from fat have a strong anti-inflammatory ability, which can greatly help the bladder. This promotes bladder healing as well. More than 70% of patients have a positive response. But, it’s important to remember that most of these patients have tried multiple other treatments before having stem cell therapy. In many cases, these patients are seeing life-changing results.
What is the cost of stem cell treatments?
The cost of the initial treatment ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. The range in cost is dependent on the complexity of delivering the cells back to you. For example, spine conditions require multiple physicians to deliver the cells back to your body, and this requires an increase in cost as multiple doctors are involved in the procedure. For many people, the initial treatment is all that is needed. However, for some conditions, subsequent treatments may be required and these are done at a reduced fee. Patients should begin seeing results in the first few weeks of treatment, but some patients may require additional deployment.
Innovations Medical provides Stem Cell Therapy procedures at both our Dallas and Fort Worth locations.