Part 2: Stem Cell Collection

In our last blog, Small Cell, Big Controversy, we explained the basics behind the controversy surrounding stem cell therapies. While the controversy is usually over the use of embryonic cells, many people project their concerns and question about the ethical and moral use of stem cells onto all stem cell therapies – even those therapies that use adipose fat cells. Many times there are questions regarding how these cells are harvested. Dr. Johnson collects adipose fat stems cells in his clinic – right from the individuals that they’ll be used to treat.

How are adipose stem cells harvested?

Mesenchymal adipose fat stem cells are harvested from the thigh, buttocks, or abdominal area, and are collected through the use of a cannula during liposuction. A cannula is a medical instrument with a long blunt tube that aids in the fat extraction process and a syringe to hold the collected fat. While it sounds a bit scary and a little painful, fat collection really isn’t either of these things. It’s a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure requiring a local anesthetic, and the incisions are so small you may not even need a bandage afterward.

This procedure is in contrast to other methods of harvesting mesenchymal cells, like those found in bone marrow. The bone marrow stem cell collection can be extremely painful and can require general anesthesia.

After an adipose fat collection is completed, fat and other extracted tissue are processed to isolate the desired stem cells. These stem cells do not have to be manipulated because they do their best work in their natural state. Fat cells also do not need help to expand – their rate of proliferation is fast – faster than other types of stem cells. Fat collections yield about fifty to one hundred million per syringe compared to the ten thousand cells collected from a bone marrow collection. These cells will be kept in their natural state until they are then reintroduced into the body.

The cells are reintroduced into the body intravenously either through an IV or an injection. Because the body can reject cells that are not of itself, it is important to use the cells specifically collected from the patient being treated.

Patients can be treated for a variety of therapies using this method, ranging from painful neuropathies, lung disease, arthritis, muscle spasms and more.

Questions about the stem cell harvesting process performed by Dr. Johnson at Innovations Medical? Call today for your consultation (214) 643-8665